Monday, 3 December 2007

John Thain wants to change Merrill management culture

John Thain, the new chief executive of Merrill Lynch, wants to make changes to the senior management culture at the bank so it is more like Goldman Sachs. All I can say is - good luck.

Does Mr Thain really understand how Goldman works? I have friends at Goldman on the very secretive shamans committee and they tell me that John has no knowledge whatsoever of financial shamanism. This basically means that Merrill Lynch will not be able to compete with Goldman Sachs on any level. The Merrill culture has to be completely revamped. Shamans and mystics must be brought into the bank and placed in senior positions. And I mean senior - heads of department level.

Arthur Simmons from the Chaos College of Finance says, 'None of our graduates have gone to Merrill Lynch, and that's a big problem for the bank. I've been told that Merrill doesn't even have any Big Herb prayer rooms. How can you expect to do business like that?'

Good question. How can any investment bank hope to survive in the present climate without Big Herb prayer rooms? Sometimes I despair, I really do.