Rise and fall of Stan O'Neal
New York-based Merrill in recent weeks has faced mounting criticism after it misjudged the severity of the subprime-mortgage crisis. The firm reported a third-quarter loss of $2.24 billion, reflecting an $8.4 billion write-down related to subprime mortgages. The firm apparently has a history of wrongdoings that almost brought it to the brink of collapse on a few occasions earlier.
O'Neal's is a classic tale. A nobody rises to the top, rules the kingdom and is ultimately brought down by the qualities that made him king in the first place. The fact that he had some famous enemies also helped hasten the downfall.
Stan had remarked once “My father told me I wasn’t cut out for farm work,” and added “I never took it as an insult.”. That composure should come to his aid when the Board of Directors of Merryl Lynch say something of the kind shortly, in equivalent Wall Street lingo.
Dick Bove of Punk Ziegel & Co. summarized expectations like this: "Pin the tail on O'Neal, blame him for all of the company's current problems, and kick him out. Then bring a white knight in and immediately resolve these problems and, possibly, in the process, merger Merrill out of existence, so that everyone will make their fortunes."
Big games. Big people. Bad world…! What do you think…?
Labels: CEO shuffle