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Judith Ellis Headshot

John Thain Still Doesn't Get It

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After receiving a bailout, "nine out of ten bank executives are still running the show," according to NBC. Here's a simple question: If you mismanaged the company that you worked for as these men (and they are all men), would you have been fired immediately?

What's up with the board of directors? What's up with holding these executives responsible for their actions, especially when taxpayer money has been used to bail these private companies out? After all, what is the responsibility of the board? Wasn't Sarbanes-Oxley in part meant to hold the board of directors more accountable?

On Good Morning America Mr. Thain offered some lame excuse for why his office was redecorated last year to the tune of $1.22 million citing that the financial crisis was not as bad at the time. He also intimated that this is just what they do, these executive types.

In his contrition, Thain failed to mention the $2 billion to $3 billion dollars in employee bonuses while Merrill lynch was reporting loses last year. Yes, he said that he was "sorry" and would pay back the $1.22 million (mere chump change for this guy) for the redecoration costs. Is that enough? The New York's attorney general does not think so. Thain has been subpoenaed.

Thain seems to be simply on a mission to rehabilitate his image. He wants another job. But has he learned anything? If board of directors look at this guy as viable, let them rehire him somewhere else. But anywhere he goes his bad behavior is likely to follow and any money given to a company he leads should be made to be repaid immediately. Talk to me.