Sunday, February 19, 2006
As we welcome Jerry York, let's never forget the "contributions" of Stanley O'Neal Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch & Co, Inc, the company that:
Acquired 32 million shares of GM common in the Fiat fiasco for $1 billion (we wrote off $4,000,000,000), a crime for all time.
Paid $80,000,000 settlement to the SEC for Enron related transactions.
Paid $200,000,000 for biased stock ranking fines.
Paid $100,000,000 fine for relationship between research analysts and investment bankers.
Replaced Enron analyst for negativism.
Was Martha Stewart's broker.
Yesterday agreed to $164,000,000 settlement of class action lawsuits related to it's analysts activities and research coverage.
As described in the GeneralWatch "Market Share on Market Street III" presentation on corruption in 2004: "Mr. O'Neal is one of the world's leading investment bankers and therefore unable to fully recuse himself from General Motor's banking relationships, regardless of the Board's statements to the contrary."
Mr. O'Neal was not in attendance at last June's Annual Meeting of shareholders. I suspect he knew the Fiat debacle would have been very uncomfortable for him to discuss.
"It simply cannot be said that this was the result of a rogue analyst or two. This was the way things worked at Merrill Lynch." New York Attorney General E. Spitzer
Next up: Deloitte and Touche "Arm's Length vs. Hand in Pocket"