Merrill Lynch Execs Paid Themselves $15 Billion on $21.5 Billion in Losses No wonder John Thain was sacked. On the surface it appears that he and his management were 'hiding' or at best unaware of enormous losses that were only revealed after they were purchased by the Bank of America, and the recipient of enormous amounts of government funds. And to make matters worse, they continued to pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses for the year despite those losses. It will be interesting to see if there is any meaningful investigation of this. We doubt it very much. The Democratic leadership have shown themselves to be a lot of noise and little meaningful action so far, and almost all the Republicans are outrageous hypocrites. Such is the state of the deep capture of the government. The problem with Wall Street is that there is reward without commensurate risk, pervasive fraud and the misstatement of numbers without the appropriate discovery and deterrence, and a lack of responsible accountability and disclosure to the American people.