You gotta hand it to the management team at Merrill Lynch: they know how to screw everyone else for their own good.
Three days before the Bank of America merger, some months before the regularly scheduled timing, Merrill’s management doled out bonuses like it was 1999. Not bailout time.
Market Watch’s headline — Merrill’s bonus heist may be the last for many — has it characterized right: heist. As in stealing; some $3-4 billion in bonuses.
In an age when employees are being laid off left and right, with no universal health care and their life savings taking a 40% haircut in the stock market due to the management greed of these companies, stealing money for bonuses three days before being bought to save your company is the lowest form of morals.
Pigs at a trough treat each other better.
Win Smith — that Smith of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith — not so long ago gave a speech about how Merrill Lynch lost it’s values. The culture of Merrill was that of “Mother Merrill.”
Today, that culture is gone, along with the company. Good riddance. Mother is right. Mother something.
There are now reports that while slashing expenses at Merrill, the CEO was redecorating his office to the tune of $1.2 million:
Thain spent $1.22 million of company money to refurbish his office at Merrill Lynch headquarters in lower Manhattan. The biggest piece of the spending spree: $800,000 to hire famed celebrity designer Michael Smith, who is currently redesigning the White House for the Obama family for just $100,000.
If your management team is wondering why your employees are not engaged in their work and your goals, you can start looking at this example as one reason why. Tone deaf doesn’t describe it.