CEOs gone wild: John Thain’s $1.2-million office reno


New York magazine reports that “former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain, the man once credited with ‘revolutionizing’ the New York Stock Exchange and Goldman Sachs, is the new most-hated man on Wall Street. Across the board this week, coverage of his $1.2 million office redecoration and his subsequent forced resignation was infused with disgust.”

How exactly do you spend $1.2-million on an office reno?

  • Sent assistant to Staples and she just sort of went crazy.
  • Might have something to do with the Olympic-sized swimming pool.
  • Trap door in front of desk was fine as is, but pit needed new snakes.
  • Show me one CEO on Wall Street whose office doesn’t have a Starbucks.
  • Instead of buying boom box for couple hundred bucks, insisted on keeping Fleetwood Mac over in the corner.
  • Existing floor coverings weren’t made entirely from endangered birds.
  • Sure, in retrospect, one trampoline might have been sufficient, but…
  • Desk had to be made from solid gold or it would have clashed with solid-gold chair, couch and secretary.
  • Bed that folds out from wall discovered to be completely hookerless.
  • You’d think the collapse of the global economy would mean a decline in the price of live Siberian tigers, but you’d be wrong.


CEOs gone wild: John Thain’s $1.2-million office reno

  1. This really is ‘crazy world’. I read this past weekend as well that Home Depot Canada paid over $11 million to a developer to get out of a lease agreement. To NOT build a store! Wonder who pays for that? Home Hardware is looking like a better solution…and their head office is in St. Jacobs.

  2. One point nine,

    went directly to trades, sub trades and sub sub trades and their employees.

    In other words at least it stayed in the economy.

    It would be nice if some on the left would ponder the notion of millions of dollars being sucked up into the vast government infrastructure every day, into the black hole of waste.

    The government as a benevolent nanny and “big business” as an evil in society that shouldn’t be tolerated, is a theme from the leftist media that is unceasing.

    • Right, so government employees aren’t part of the economy? Goods bought by the government are never produced by private enterprise? The interest on Government debt is never paid to Canadians?


    • Kody: the money that went to the CEO for office renovations could just as easily have gone to shareholders as dividends, or to employees as salary. That money would have stayed in the economy too.

  3. Don’t be silly , Kody.

    We’ve been inflicted with full force CEO worship for at least thirty years.

    Exhibit #1 – The Globe.

    • Exhibit #2: Nortel.

      • Excellent exhibit. I remember when (8 short years ago) Nortel’s valuation was so inflated that it comprised 33% of the TSX.

  4. One reason to avoid dealing with Merrill Lynch, that’s for sure. If there was a Wall Street company that exhibited frugality, they would get my business.

    It is not uncommon for many businesses in other industries to squeeze out savings in any way possible. And in many such companies this extends directly to the top.

    However, the companies seen to be going under show none of these tendencies: Thanis, the other Wall Street excesses, and the CEOs of the auto companies and their private jets.