John Thain, NY Stock Exchange, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, CIT, etc.
He's like the Silver Surfer of financial catastrophe: Wherever he's gone, trouble has followed. His greatest act of Un-jailedness, however, involved the sale of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America.
First, he pushed through about $4 billion in Merrill bonuses just before the deal closed. Some of that might have been from TARP funds, but who's counting? Actually, no one was counting…they're TARP funds.
Second, at the start of his very brief tenure at B of A, he spent $1.2 million in corporate funds to renovate his offices with necessities like a $131,000 area rug, a $68,000 credenza, and, of course, a $35,000 commode. If you've got an ugly, thieving, selfish soul inside, you should at least have a pretty office outside.
Thain is currently making about $6 million a year as CEO of CIT Group, which, as our readers may know, is not jail.