You Have To See What Merrill's John Thain Spent On His Office...Wow!

January 22, 2009 2:53 PM EST
In Charlie Gasparino's Daily Beast column, Charlie reveals how Merrill Lynch’s CEO, (now owned by Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)), spent over $1 million to redecorate his office last year. Are you kidding me?

In early 2008, just as Merrill's CEO John Thain was preparing to cut expenses, eliminate thousands of jobs and exit businesses to save the dying Merrill Lynch, Thain was also spending embarrassing money on the redesign of his office.

John Thain spent $1.22 million of Merrill's money to refurbish his office. Thain's largest expense was the hiring of celebrity designer Michael Smith for $800,000. This is the same guy who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for only $100,000. Thain had Merrill pay that designer $700,000 more for the redesign of only his office. Again, are you kidding me?

Persian Area Rug =$87,000
Egyptian Silk Curtains =$28,000
Mink Guest Chairs =$87,000
Roman Shade Fabric =$11,000
Mahogany Pedestal Table =$25,000
19th Century Credenza =$68,000
Hand-Stitched Polynesian Sofa =$28,000
George IV Desk =$18,000
Wall Sconces =$2,700
6 Antique Chairs =$37,000
Private Dining Room Mirror =$5,000
Dining Room Chandelier =$13,000
Commode On Legs =$35,000
Regency Chairs =$24,000
40 yards of Fabric For Wall Panels =$5,000
Parchment Waste Can =$1,400
Additional designer Expenses =$30,000
Firing John Thain =Priceless

Finally, in addition to the above ridiculous numbers, documents show Merrill paid $230,000 for Thain's personal driver for one year’s work, which included the driver's $85,000 salary and bonus of $18,000, and another $128,000 in over-time pay. Drivers of top executives are often paid about half that amount.

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UBS, Charles Gasparino, John A. Thain, BRIC