Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

The $100 Million Round of Golf

RTE’s website coverage of today’s turmoil in the world’s financial markets kicks off with the following, interest-deflating headline: “US economy already in recession – consultant.”Alas, the subheading “Oh no it isn’t! – another consultant” is nowhere to be seen.On a tangential note, Louis XVI famously wrote “rien” (“nothing”) as a journal entry for July 14, 1789. Somebody who could ignore the fall of Bastille is obviously a model for the former CEO of Merrill Lynch, Stanley O’Neal. As Michael Lewis entertainingly relates in”In the six weeks between Aug. 12 and Sept. 30, as Merrill Lynch’s losses mounted, its CEO didn’t merely manage to play 20 rounds of golf, on four different courses. He played them beautifully, with a consistency that defied the pain he must have been feeling. Indeed, a glance at the scores explains why the Merrill Lynch board agreed to pay him $48 million in 2006: The man has ice water in his veins. From the end of July to early October, when the firm Stan O’Neal ran was losing money at a rate of more than $100 million a day, his handicap wavered only slightly — in fact dropped, to 9.1 from 10.2.”Like Louis, Stan was eventually deposed. Unlike Louis, he walked away from his position with a $161.2 million “compensation” package.