Bonuses aside, Thain became another symbol of corporate greed in the midst of a tanking economy when it was also disclosed that he had spent more than $1.2 million to redecorate his office, even as his firm struggled for its life.
Thain used the same celebrity decorator, Michael Smith, that the Obama family has retained to decorate the White House. According to Charlie Gasparino, CNBC's on air editor, who broke the story, the money Thain spent in part went for two area rugs ($131,000), two guest chairs ($87,000), a 19th Century credenza ($68,000), four pairs of curtains ($28,000), and a mahogany pedestal table ($25,000).
Also reported to be on the list was a trash can for $1,400.
Thain's lavish spending shows that even as the gilded age of Wall St. comes to an end, he "occupied this rarified strata on Wall Street" and "just didn't get it," said banking industry analyst Nancy Bush. "It's time for all this to be gone because the reality needs to set in on Wall St. that the business has changed for the foreseeable future, if not forever," Bush added.