Merrill Lynch (MER) Traders Do Not Appear Too Busy

January 17, 2008 10:24 AM EST
This morning on CNBC Maria Bartiromo interviewed John Thain on Merrill Lynch's (NYSE: MER) fixed income trading floor. This interview took place after Thain finished the conference call with analysts.

CNBC often conducts interviews on trading floors and the traders are almost always in the background doing their work versus focusing on the camera. However, at Merrill Lynch today, a group of traders kept gathering over John Thain's shoulder to get on television. The group would stand up and look into the camera and then look at the tv monitor across the room to see how they look.

Traders usually do not have time to do many other things, than trade, but this morning this small group of traders were more concerned with their tv appearance than making money for Merrill Lynch. I don't know if this should tell you something about how John Thain runs Merrill, or if this was just a few traders that had a slight lapse in judgment, in what has been very tough days for Merrill Lynch workers in recent weeks.

Lastly, one other conclusion may be drawn, perhaps these traders are worried about their job security and were trying to get some exposure on tv, as a way to let people know that they are looking for a job. I doubt that is the case, but just one other idea as to why they were acting like clowns on tv.

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Maria Bartiromo, John A. Thain