Regrets

Thain: I Should Have Used Ikea

John Thain has finally shown some regret—not for presiding over Merrill Lynch's historical losses last year, but for purchasing a $25,000 mahogany pedestal table instead of a cheaper version from Ikea. During a speech at the Wharton Business School, Thain said that his $1.2 million redecoration of an office, two conference rooms, and a reception area "was a mistake, and I'm sorry I did that,” according to Bloomberg. He added, “If I had that to do over again, I'd furnish it in Ikea." The infamous renovation included a $35,000 toilet. Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis fired Thain after the bank acquired Merrill under charges that Thain accelerated year-end bonuses to Merrill employees before the deal closed. Thain explained at Wharton: "When I got fired in January and they said, 'John Thain secretly accelerated these bonuses,' they were lying." N.Y. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is currently investigating Lewis' alleged role in failing to disclose Merrill's $15.3 billion loss and $3.6 billion in bonus before the sale was approved.