Merrill CEO Backs Off $10M Bonus Request

Wall Street climate pressures Thain to forgo year-end check
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 8, 2008 5:40 PM CST
Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley John J. Mack is also not taking a bonus this year, nor did he in the last.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Under a wave of criticism, Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain today gave up asking for a $5-to-$10 million bonus, the Wall Street Journal reports. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called the request "nothing less than shocking" during an "abysmal year" in which Merrill lost $11 billion. Thain had argued that he deserved the bonus for steering Merrill into Bank of America ownership 3 months ago.

Four other top Merrill executives decided today not to ask their compensation board for year-end checks, after executives at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and other firms lost their bonuses.