After Bear Stearns imploded in March and as Lehman Brothers was failing in September, Thain saw the writing on the wall and arranged a sale to BofA. But not satisfied with being the savior of Merrill's thundering herd of brokers, Thain demanded a fat bonus - and promptly got himself bounced by his new boss, BofA's Ken Lewis.
The news got even worse, with taxpayers forced to lend BofA billions of dollars to fill a hole created by some $30 billion in Merrill writedowns. Oh, and it turned out Thain spent
$35,000 on an office toilet. Some hero.