It's the picture that they didn't want you to see. Merrill Lynch had just posted it's first-quarter earnings (of lack of) Thursday, and the mood was stark as the firm had also announced 3,000 more job losses.....
And yet on the firm's website, www.ml.com , right above the grim announcement 'Merrill Lynch Reports First-Quarter 2008 Net Loss From Continuing Operations', was a picture of 3 Muppets with the message: 'We stand at the center of our communities'. (See picture to the immediate right - click the 'zoom' button top right to enlarge).
First we thought that some bright spark had hacked into Merrill's website and was taking the Michael. Not so, though, as the Muppets were there as part of a worthy initiative the firm is promoting - Panwapa - a joint initiative the firm's has established with Sesame Workshop to teach global citizenship and community activism to children between the ages of 4 to 7.
The Muppets made a hasty exit, however, when Merrill's 'good-taste' police (there are a few of those on the payroll in the US) saw how inappropriate it looked. At least the initiative's got a lot of exposure now - and we all had a good laugh! Another case of 'The Law Of Unintended Consequences'.
'The $1.97bn loss announcement features in the 'Highlights' section - some 'highlight!'.
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