John Thain of Merrill Lynch (MER) spent most of his time at the financial firm saying that the markets would improve as would the fortunes of his company. He was consistently and remarkably wrong.
More recently, he has turned to comparing the current economic situation to the early stages of The Great Depression.
According to Reuters, "John Thain said he did not expect the global economy to recover quickly from the credit crisis and that the environment more closely resembled 1929, the advent of the Great Depression, than recent slowdowns."
Thain may be right, but he is well behind the curve of analysts who think that the global economy shares some aspects of the Depression. He has gotten in late with his comments and his track record for calling the future of events is poor.
Thain to some degree represents the class of poor man’s fortune-tellers who ran Wall St. as it slipped into disaster. Everything was going well until it didn’t. Now things are worse than they have ever been. It is a good way to slip the blame which belongs to them
Douglas A. McIntyre