A flash from the past about the guy who really ignored all of the risk management warnings and helped push Mother Merrill into the red zone.

Lot of people are to blame for the firms eventual firesale to BofA but no one deserves more credit than Stan O’Neal. (At least he improved his short game).

So in sum, I guess the answer was no . . .

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6 Responses to “Can This Man Save Merrill Lynch?”

  1. PeterR says:

    A similar pan of bad behavior at MS:



    “On March 16, 2007, Morgan Stanley employees working on one of the toxic assets that helped blow up the world economy discussed what to name it. Among the team members’ suggestions: “Subprime Meltdown,” “Hitman,” “Nuclear Holocaust” and “Mike Tyson’s Punchout,” as well a simple yet direct reference to a bag of excrement.

    Ha ha. Those hilarious investment bankers.”

    Ha Ha.

  2. ToNYC says:

    Hey, he made big money and got out before the deluge. He existentially blew up the irish catholic and military mafia that ran the place tight as a drum, all good so far. Oh, you wanted more? They never ask about unintended consequences when it all depends on you never asking.

  3. drtomaso says:

    I got outta that place before the $hit$torm he created blew up. The writing was on the wall, at least in my mind, around 2005/6, after reading this and several other financial blogs (thanks BR!). I do remember the joke around 2007 was that bonuses would be paid not in cash, but in seconds in a locked room with Stan and a pair of nunchaku.

    I still can’t get over the very idea that you can earn $160+MM for driving the company you head into non-existence. That is more money than most Americans earn in several thousand lifetimes, and none of them will ever destroy nearly as many lives.

    On the other hand, all he did was lead them where they wanted to go….

  4. FormerML says:

    Can this guy save Merrill? Uhhh, no. But he can blow it out of the water, ignore all risk warnings, and keep dumping toxic assets onto the balance sheet of the company, then take his $160 mill and head to the driving range. How in the name of Lindsey Lohan did this guy NOT go to jail???

  5. Crocodile Chuck says:

    “How to invest with confidence” + Stan ‘O Neal:

    There can be no greater non sequitur

    ‘O Neal: the guy played golf during the week, every week*



  6. victor says:

    Stan and many others like him (list is too long) didn’t go to jail because they looted legally under the umbrella of iron clad contracts their BOD signed off on in the most egregious form of crony capitalism. They had no skin in the game and there were, of course no claw back provisions in their superbly designed contracts. And one more thing: just like in the case of Junk Bond King Milken, they scrupulously paid, probably overpaid all their taxes: Federal, State….why end up like Al Capone? And according to CNN:” After retiring as CEO of Merrill Lynch in 2007, O’Neal became an Alcoa director in January 2008. He also serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center”.

    For those interested you may want to read this (“Where are they now”?+ top 8 scoundrels):