Obituarium: the official final word for reputations and legacies of the once invincible who have been admitted to the Dead Men Walking Society. Please submit your own suggestions to scald your favorite scoundrel or scandal: This is an open source communal obituary service. No reputation is too small to be included.
John Alexander Thain (54) Killed Redecorating While Rome Burns
The financial crisis today claimed another unexpected victim. Tragically, John Thain, born May 26, 1955, who was the last and final Chairman and CEO of the iconic Merrill Lynch . Kenneth Lewis, CEO of Bank of America today announced that John Thain had voluntarily resigned his position. Thain the primary engineer of the much heralded shotgun wedding between the two financial giants had suffered a terminal case of loss of confidence and joined the world of the reputationally dearly departed. Thain had been designated to become president of Global Banking, Securities and Wealth management in the combined company, following the merger he masterfully engineered between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America (now known as Booba or Bank Offically Owned By America).
Apparently while the financial world around him was imploding and layoffs abounded Thain was busy redecorating his Merrill offices at an expense in excessof $1 million. Ironically he fatally burned by an $87,000 area rug in the new digs which became public courtesy of the Daily Beast. This seems to have been straw that broke the camel's back was not that the U.S. Tresury had to throw an extra $20 billion into the kitty to help close the deal that was imploding under previously unanticipated, undisclosed and highly alarming losses a mere 45 days after the deal was announced, nor the $15 billion of unexpected write downs that Lewis felt Thain had not adequately disclosed. Nay! The fatal straw seems to have been Thain's redecorating budget of his new offices at merrill'sWhilst Thain He resigned from the company on Thursday, January 22, 2009 following a brief meeting with the Grand Poobah of Booba CEO Ken Lewis. The Associated Press identified Thain as the highest -paid CEO in 2007, among S&P 500 companies. On Monday, December 8, 2008, Thain had given up his pursuit of a controversial $10 million bonus award from the Compensation Committee of Merrill Lynch on that company's last day as an independent company.
January 15, 2009
Suddenly and without notice, William (age unknown), his beloved wife Sarah (age unknown) and their beloved children: Agnes (age unknown), Irving (age unknown), Hortense (age unknown), Daffy (age unknown), Ishtar (age unknown), and others awaiting DNA test reports were senselessly mowed-down by a hit and run Airbus 320 later identified as U.S. Air Flight 1549 as it made a illegal maneuver over the Hudson River. The family of geese were sucked into two jet engines from behind without any warning. FAA procedures require jets flying at speeds in excessof 400 mph to honk three times within 500 feet of an organized flying formation for any species of bird in excess of 4 lbs. The bodies were not recoverable. The Foie Grois Association has registered a protest with the FAA demanding a full investigation.
Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger hailed around the world as a hero for saving the lives of 155 passengers is being sought for questioning by the Foie Grois Association that is demanding a full apology to the entire population of flying birds around the world. Said a distraught Arnold the Goose, William's, brother who was not in the V-formation at the time but trailing the flock, "If Captain Sullenberger is supposed to be such a hot s*** pilot, why couldn't he avoid killing my entire family in the first place. It is particularly distressing to know that he is an expert in pilot safety and yet showed a wanton disregard for the well-being of those who share the flight lanes with him!" Uncontrollably sobbing, Arnold continued, "I am deeply offended that this horrific incident is being referred as the 'Miracle on the Hudson'-- what miracle? To my family this was wasn't a miracle. It was a massacre."
A Memorial Service is expected at a future date once DNA testing has been completed and dental records have been examined for any potential matches for the entire gaggle of geese. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a well-known hunting conservationist, is expected to deliver the eulogy.
see video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ny9q0KM3Ca8
After recovering the engines of U.S. Air Flight 1549, FAA officals found a single feather
It is with great sadness and a profound sense of loss that we must acknowledge the reputational departure from this world of Robert E. Rubin, the former Co-head of Goldman Sachs who made his mark across the globe by serving as a terribly competent Secretary of the Treasury in the Clinton Administration. One of the brightest and soft spoken masters of the universe he was endowed with an ethical mind and moral compass and was devoted to free market principles but willing to wield the mighty financial sword of the US several times during his watch including the Mexican Peso Crisis and most notably during what had hither been "the big one" (the 1998 Asian Flu/Russian Currency crisis and collapse of Long Term Capital Management). The 1998 "big one" now has been exponentially surpassed by the 2008 "big, big one".
Mr. Rubin was, undeniably, at the strategic helm of the world's largest "too big to fail" institution during the most reckless period of asset accumulation in history. If he wasn't the commander he was at least pounding the drum on the warship as the enslaved oarsmen below deck rowed at ramming speed He was in a position to know better and seemed to encounter an ultimately terminal case of osteoporosis of personal credibility by growing smaller in stature just like Benjamin Button grew smaller in size. Rubin was just as asleep at the switch as everyone else. His credibility as a maven inducing a false sense of security for the investment community: "hell, Bob Rubin's on the job and must be watching this thing like a hawk."Apparently he wasn't.
His refusal to accept any responsibility during his end-of-days television interviews (even though he had been paid $40 million to serve as Citi's Chairman of the Executive Committee) and his rather incredulous exculpatory claim of delegation to the company's risk managers did not play well with just anybody with a double digit IQ. Rubin and Citi received the biggest bailout in history from his former Goldman Sachs colleague Hank "the financial village idiot" Paulson who was taunting "mission accomplished" and restoration of financial stability. Paulson publicly stated on CNBC on November 15, 2008 that "no one goes to bed in this country today worrying about the next financial institution to fail". Paulson was right (for about four days) and then threw a $300 billion plus lifeline on top of nearly $45 billion in direct federal financial assistance.
Rubin resigned as Chairman of the Executive Committee on January 9, 2009 ultimately accepting responsibility (like a real man) for overseeing a 90% decline in the Citigroup stock price. He did not return any of the money he had been paid. The true loss to this nation is the loss of confidence in a once highly respected figure. If Bob Rubin didn't have a clue what was going on what does that say about all of the other less talented bozos at this country's financial institutions. The final lesson from the Rubin departure may be that while some institutions may be "too big to fail" perhaps most of our institutions have become "too big to succeed". Caveat Emptor.
The following is the text of Mr. Rubin's letter to Citi: http://www.citigroup.com/citi/press/2009/090109d.htm
Rubin ends tenure at Bank (Washington Post): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/09/AR2009010903708.html?hpid=topnews
"My great regret is that I and so many of us who have been involved in this industry for so long did not recognize the serious possibility of the extreme circumstances that the financial industry faces today," Rubin wrote.
Rubin, also a Citigroup director, said he would not stand for reelection at the company's next annual meeting.
Rubin Departs Citi on a Low Note (Wall Street Journal): http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123154640085069809.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
Rubin, Under Fire, Defends His Role at Citi
By Ken Brown and David Enrich
November 29, 2008
Under fire for his role in the near-collapse ofInc., Robert Rubin said its problems were due to the buckling financial system, not its own mistakes, and that his role was peripheral to the bank's main operations even though he was one of its highest-paid officials.
"Nobody was prepared for this," Mr. Rubin said in an interview. He cited former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan as another example of someone whose reputation has been unfairly damaged by the crisis.
Mr. Rubin, senior counselor and a director at Citigroup, acknowledged that he was involved in a board decision to ramp up risk-taking in 2004 and 2005, even though he was warning publicly that investors were taking too much risk. He said if executives had executed the plan properly, the bank's losses would have been less.
Its troubles have put the former Treasury secretary in the awkward position of having to justify $115 million in pay since 1999, excluding stock options, while explaining Citigroup's $20 billion in losses over the past year and a government bailout of at least $45 billion.
Read Full Article at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122791795940965645.html
Richard Severin Fuld, Jr. (born April 26, 1946, New York , New York ) is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. .Universally featured on every top 10 most wanted list but usually no higher than 7 or 8. .Became reputationally toxic on September 15th, 2008 upon the Lehman's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Filing. This date is now almost universally recognized as the end of western civillization. Fuld became a member of Dead Men Walking Society after a horrifying performance at his Congressional testimony on October 6, 2008 confirming every American's worst fear and concern about the Investment Banking profession. Known at the firm as "Gorilla" Fuld's Neanderthal facial resemblance, lack of contrition and refusal to accept any blame at his testimony confirmed only ice existed in his circulatory system. This created great interest in the scientific community particlaurly among doctors and other forensic specialists with substantial losses in their 401ks who have offered to perform his autopsy gratis.
During his congressional testimony, CNBC reported that Fuld was attacked and "knocked out cold" at the Lehman Brothers gym due to Lehman's declaration of bankruptcy. . Also, representatives of Fuld have denied the report . His $500 million in executive compensation was fully justified in his own mind although his recollection as to the exact amount was quite vague In October 2008, Fuld was among twelve Lehman Brothers executives who received grand jury subpoenas in connection to three criminal investigations led by the U.S. attorney 's offices in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York as well as the District of New Jersey, related to the possibility of securities fraud associated with the collapse of the firm.