John Thain: It’s ‘Unfortunate That the American Dream Has Been Demonized’

After he lost his job as CEO of Merrill Lynch following its sale to Bank of America last year, John Thain found himself pilloried by the press for having spent exorbitant sums decorating his Merrill office. During a recent presentation at Wharton, Thain addressed this issue head-on, and then proceeded to offer his opinions as to what caused the crisis, what can be done to prevent it from happening again, and when it will be over — not just for the financial industry but also for Main Street. One piece of advice: “Relying on the world continuing to look like it used to look is a really bad idea.”

Below is the Thain presentation, divided into three parts – his remarks to the audience, questions from the three-member panel and, finally, questions from the audience.

Part I: Thain’s Remarks

Download the Part I Transcript

Part II: Questions from the Panel

Download the Part II Transcript

Part III: Questions from the Audience

Download the Part III Transcript


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