From The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer — Originally published Tuesday, Jan. 27

... Now, we get the gilded wastebasket. Well, technically it's a “parchment waste can,” but whatever it was it cost $1,405 and was part of a $1.2 million redecorating of John Thain's offices at Merrill Lynch & Co. ...

Thain was Merrill Lynch CEO until it was about to tank and had to be sold to Bank of America. The sale was effective Jan. 1. Thain lasted barely three weeks at Bank of America. Last Thursday, as information was emerging about his office's extreme makeover and a week after Bank of America announced its first quarterly loss in 17 years, Thain “resigned.”

... [D]uring the last quarter of 2008, while Bank of America was announcing it would lay off 35,000 people and Merrill Lynch was losing more than $15 billion and the country was plunging into the worst unemployment crisis in decades, Thain was lobbying for a $30 million to $40 million bonus for himself. (He didn't get a bonus and later denied having asked for one). ...

At a time when millions of Americans are losing homes, jobs, retirement savings and wondering if they can put food on the table, anyone pushing for a $30 million bonus needs to see his own career go into the round file. And we think we know just the trash can for it.