Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain's $35,000 "commode on legs" (picture included)

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John Thain became Merrill Lynch’s CEO in early 2008, he hired Michael S. Smith Design to revamp his office suite, spending approximately $1.22 million, let's review what he bought, its fun.

So what did he spend $1.2 million on, here's the list:

  • Area Rug $87,784
  • Mahogany Pedestal Table $25,713
  • 19th Century Credenza $68,179
  • Pendant Light Furniture $19,751
  • 4 Pairs of Curtains $28,091
  • Pair of Guest Chairs $87,784
  • George IV Chair $18,468
  • 6 Wall Sconces $2,741
  • Parchment Waste Can $1,405
  • Roman Shade Fabric $10,967
  • Roman Shades $7,315
  • Coffee Table $5,852
  • Commode on Legs $35,115

Thain also paid his driver $230,000 for one years work, which included the driver's $85,000 salary and bonus of $18,000, and another $128,000 in over-time pay, documents show. Drivers of top executives are often paid about half that amount.

Commode on LegsRegarding the $35,000 "commode on legs", it's not a honey bucket but rather a chest of drawers on legs introduced by the French in the early 18th century.

Back in the day the "commode on legs" were used to store chamberpot in the drawers underneath. Then when they developed enclosed rooms to do your business, though there was no indoor plumbing so you were basically sitting on a giant removable chamber pot, these were also called commodes.

Add pipes and flushing water, and why mess with a good thing you got going on let's still keep calling it a commode.  Then again, he could have just picked up one of these for a few bucks cheaper.


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