Ousted Thain to Repay $1.2M Spent on Office

Lush renovation was a 'mistake,' says ex-Merrill CEO
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 26, 2009 11:37 AM CST
In this Sept. 15, 2008, file photo, former Merrill Lynch executive John Thain, left, and Bank of America Chairman and CEO Ken Lewis shake hands following a news conference in New York.    (AP Photos)
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(Newser) – Former Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain says he’ll repay the $1.2 million he spent on office renovations last year, Bloomberg reports. “The expenses were incurred over a year ago in a very different environment,” Thain wrote in a memo to Merrill execs. “They were a mistake in the light of the world we live in today. I will therefore reimburse the company.”

Thain also defended himself from criticism over an unexpected $15.3 billion fourth-quarter loss and paying year-end bonuses to executives before closing a deal to sell Merrill to Bank of America. The losses were “almost entirely on legacy positions and were due to market movements,” he said. Further, Bank of America “learned about these losses when we did” and helped determine the bonuses. (Read more Merrill Lynch stories.)