Lunchtime Links: It wasn't just bonuses, Merrill reset its options too

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More revelations of pre-BofA-fusion self-rewarding-style behaviour. Not only did Merrill Lynch appear to rush through some very generous bonuses just before the BofA deal went through, it now appears that it reset all its options as well. The 10k filing posted on the ML site yesterday says that:

In December 2008, the performance-based stock option awards were amended to eliminate the performance conditions related to stock price thresholds; as a result, all remaining unvested options vested and became exercisable immediately upon Bank of America's acquisition of ML & Co. on January 1, 2009."

This was probably just as well given that the weighted average exercise price for all options outstanding at the end of 2008 was $54.06, and Merrill's share price at the end of December 2008 was $11.64.

Merrill's loss: just a little $500m more than first thought. (Alphaville)

Merrill said to lay off someone in London yesterday. (Dealbreaker)

Bank of American spends money trying to keep ML bonuses secret. (The Times)

Bank of America is way far superior to rivals. (Bloomberg)

Operation Brush it Under the CarpetBroom to the rescue. (The Times)

Proof that there is life after 'institutional client sales on the fixed income side' at Lehman. (Telegraph)

A chat with Mack. (The Big Picture)

Thomson Reuters doing surprisingly ok. (The Times)

Teathers hires team from Collins Stewart. (Teathers)

Ye olden compensation figures. (Bankers Ball)

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