Why Thain Over Fink?

Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 09:48 AM

Here's something you may not have heard:

The surprise selection of NYSE CEO John Thain as Merrill's new CEO over the more widely expected  BlackRock CEO Larry Fink was based on reasons you may not be aware of. 

What are those reasons? Well, according to CNBC.com, Fink would only agree to take the position if Merrill was willing to give a full and complete accounting of it's subprime exposure:

"Merrill's selection of Thain was a surprise because the firm had recently indicated to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink that the job was his if he wanted it. CNBC has learned that Fink said he would take the job but only if Merrill did a full accounting of its subprime exposure. At that point, Merrill, which owns 49% of BlackRock , moved in a different direction and decided to go with Thain instead."

I obviously have no way to verify that, but I give the benefit of the doubt to CNBC reporters like Charlie Gasparino and Herb Greenberg.  (UPDATE: I have just confirmed with Charlie Gasparino that he was the one who's fine investigative work uncovered this; You can see some of the discussion via CNBC video here, right margin, labeled "The New Bull at Merrill").

Note: I don't know who uncovered this. 

If the story is true, and Fink passed on the position (or was passed over) because of his insistence on a complete sub-prime accounting, apparently not accommodated by Merrill, it makes one wonder what the old lady is hiding.



Merrill Taps Thain After Fink Demanded Full Tally
Charlie Gasparino,
CNBC | 14 Nov 2007 | 04:36 PM

Merrill's New CEO Hoping To 'Make Things Better'
By CNBC.com with Wires
CNBC.com 14 Nov 2007 | 05:30 PM ET

Thursday, November 15, 2007 | 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (26) | TrackBack (1)
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» Full Accounting from Political Animal
FULL ACCOUNTING....Merrill Lynch was widely expected to appoint BlackRock CEO Larry Fink as its new chief after Stanley O'Neal left the company earlier this month. Instead they chose NYSE CEO John Thain. CNBC's Charlie Gasparino explains what happened:... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 15, 2007 4:35:00 PM


As posted yesterday when Mer owns 49% of the firm that you currently work for one/1 would think that a little disclosure would be asked for since if Fink jumps ship he basically could be signing the death warrant for Blackrock and not even know it.

And yes it does seem pretty childish to go with the person who asked the least amount of questions. THain is going to be a customer now??? I bet he is.....

I loved the headline:

"merril taps Thain as first outsider to run the firm"

Give me a break....outsider my ass...


Posted by: michael schumacher | Nov 15, 2007 10:04:48 AM

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