A few hours ago Merrill’s chief executive Johnny Thain-ted Love joined the no bonus club, as he reportedly “requested” that he not receive any incentive compensation this year. The “request” was made after several industry observers criticized Thain’s appeal for $10 million (several also came to his defense, believing that he deserved a bonus, though perhaps not one as large as $10 million, for helping stave off a Bear- or Lehman-like collapse).
Likely largely responsible for Thain dropping his appeal to Merrill’s compensation committee was the observer with the loudest voice, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who's been conducting a Spitzer-esque investigation into compensation practices at big banks as of late. In a letter to Merrill dated today, Cuomo called Thain’s request “oxymoronic” and “nothing less than shocking,” then signed off as always with, "Very truly yours, Andrew M. Cuomo."