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Stan O’Neal: It’s the Final Countdown!

Stan O'Neal

Tick-tock!Photo: Getty Images (O’Neal), iStockphoto (clock)

What did you do this weekend? Oh, yeah? Well, Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal, whom we put on Deathwatch last week, spent the weekend negotiating his $160 million severance package. Nice payout, considering he, you know, was responsible for the biggest loss in the bank’s history. But can we just say it’s kind of amazing how fast this all happened? It was only a week ago that O’Neal announced his multi-billion-dollar write-off, and this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports he’s expected to resign this afternoon. Whereas we and the rest of the universe have had Citigroup’s Chuck Prince Deathwatch for like three years and still the dude is cozy in his Lexington Avenue throne. So, why has O’Neal gone down like a ton of bricks, while Prince is living large? Management Today suggests it might be because O’Neal is black. But we’re not so sure. (Also, not so comfortable with that headline, guys, considering O’Neal is actually a descendent of slaves.) But more likely it is just that he:

• Reported an $8 billion loss in the third quarter, which makes Chuck seem like he was being frugal for losing only $6 billion.
•Was super-competitive with Goldman Sachs, to the point where his staff avoided him during Goldman earnings because he was not nice.
• Was maybe talking to Wachovia about a merger behind the back of his board.
• Lost $8-fucking-billion

We think that about sums it up.

O’Neal Out As Merrill Reels From Loss [WSJ]
O’Neal Gets Merrill Lynched
Earlier: The Stan O’Neal Deathwatch

Stan O’Neal: It’s the Final Countdown!