John Thain to Takeover at Merrill: I’m a Buyer

Merrill Lynch LogoWell it turns out Joe Capone is wrong after predicting to me months ago that John Thain would run Citigroup after Prince was fired.  But he's not that wrong because after watching Thain's interview on CNBC I'm sure he was offered the job and chose Merrill instead.

Knowning that Thain worked in Mortgage Backed Securities at Goldman and the fact that he got to see the books of Merril before he took the job were two factors that made me buy Merrill Lynch (MER – $57.88 close) in the aftermarket today at $58.15.  I don't think Thain would have taken the CEO job at Merrill if he didn't figure out that the mortgage positions there are managable.

Merrill Lynch is trading cheap, so I'm getting one of the best private wealth management franchises in the world at a bargain.

Besides, now that I've trimmed my broker exposure a bit, I'm putting it back up with Merrill.  Now I feel like I own them all.  Might Merrill go down before it goes up?  It the absense of further bad news, I'm likely to be a buyer if it does. Disclosure, confessions and rants:
I own MER, BSC, MS, GS, LEH.

I have several friends in management positions at Merrill Lynch.  I also have an enemy or two, (you know who you are and hopefully John Thain will figure you out too.)

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Photo by Joyse Pedersen via Flickr and Creative Commons