Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Julie Gayet wins privacy case against French glossy Closer

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Britain drops arrest warrant for ill boy’s parents

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

Business

Merrill Lynch boss seeks 10 million dollar bonus

Latest update : 2008-12-08

According to the Wall street Journal, John Thain, chairman and chief executive of the troubled Wall Street bank Merrill Lynch, asked the board a 10-million dollar bonus for 2008. Merrill Lynch took 10 billion dollars in federal aid this year.

AFP - The chairman and chief executive of troubled Wall Street bank Merrill Lynch, which has taken 10 billion dollars in federal aid, is seeking a 10-million-dollar bonus this year, a US newspaper reported Monday.
  
John Thain, who took the reins of Merrill Lynch a year ago, has suggested to its directors that he be payed the multimillion-dollar 2008 bonus but the company's compensation committee is resisting, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  
Citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, the newspaper said the committee and full board were to meet Monday to hear Thain's bonus requests for himself and other top executives of the firm that suffered billions of dollars in losses this year and narrowly avoided collapse by selling itself to Bank of America.
  
The differences over Thain's bonus highlights the swirling broader debate on Wall Street over bonus payouts and giant salaries for executives amid a global financial crisis and a credit crunch that has been blamed in part on Wall Street firms.
  
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid condemned Thain's bonus request, noting the company had received 10 billion taxpayer dollars from the Treasury's emergency Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) on October 14.
  
The 700-billion-dollar TARP, launched to shore up the collapsing financial sector amid a global credit crisis, was designed explicitly to limit executive compensation, bonuses and golden parachutes, the Democratic Senate leader said.    "While American families struggle to keep their jobs and their homes, I question the chutzpah of asking for a 10-million-dollar taxpayer-subsidized bonus," Reid said.
  
"Americans deciding which bills to pay this month just to make ends meet do not want their hard-earned money even indirectly spent rewarding executives from banks that are largely responsible for the economic crisis. I sincerely hope that Merrill Lynch rejects this request."
  
Merrill Lynch was forced to sell itself after making huge losses following the meltdown in the subprime, or higher risk, US mortgage market.
  
The acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America for 50 billion dollars averted a possible collapse of the 94-year-old company, saving shareholders billions of dollars and saving many jobs, according to the Journal.
  
The newspaper reported a proposal had been sent to Merrill's compensation committee a few months ago for Thain to be paid more than 30 million dollars for the year including bonuses, but that figure has since been pared down.
  
On Friday, during a vote to approve Bank of America's takeover of Merrill Lynch, Merrill shareholders criticized the company's board.
  
"This is the story of failed leadership and the failure of a board of directors to understand what was happening to this great company, and its failure to take action soon enough," Winthrop Smith Jr, the son of one of the company's founding partners, was quoted as saying.
  
Merrill stock has plummeted since trading above 50 dollars when Thain took over in late 2007. Merrill was up 12.50 percent at 14.67 in afternoon trade.
  

Date created : 2008-12-08

COMMENT(S)