Cuomo Finally Scores in Merrill Lynch Bonusgate


Andrew Cuomo filed another appeal seeking the release of the names of Merrill Lynch’s top earners last year, and the court filing contains transcripts of the depositions John Thain, Ken Lewis, and other executives gave to his office recently. Honestly, we’re a little disappointed. Whatever nipple clamps they were using in the Bonus Buster’s office must not be up to snuff, because the actual testimony is not that exciting. We learn about the early days of Merrill and Bank of America’s relationship from when John Thain and Ken Lewis met during the Lehman debacle (Thain went over to Bank of America’s apartment in the Time Warner Center, Ken Lewis made some untoward advances, Thain said “I don’t want to see the company!” because he is not that kind of girl, but then one thing led to another and suddenly he was that kind of girl, etc.) to their unceremonious parting of ways. What is interesting, The Wall Street Journal tells us (because we didn’t go through the whole 200-page thing ourselves), is that while a Merrill Lynch lawyer told Congress that “incentive compensation decisions for 2008 [had] not yet been made” in November, testimony from the head of Merrill’s compensation committee indicates that actually, Merrill had voted to accelerate the bonus payments to December from January two weeks before that. So now Cuomo has the evidence he needs to call them liars. Score one for the Bonus Buster! Finally.

Cuomo Says Merrill Misled Congress [WSJ]
Cuomo Presses in Court for Merrill Bonus Information [NYT]