Banker Buys $37 Million Apartment After Getting $25 Million Buyout -- for Doing Virtually Nothing

Tuesday , December 30, 2008



A former top executive at Merrill Lynch who received a $25 million golden parachute after just three months of work has purchased a $37 million Park Avenue palace.

Peter Kraus, 55, paid the staggering sum for a five-bedroom co-op on New York's posh Park Avenue after getting a $25 million buyout from Merrill Lynch when the company was sold to Bank of America in September, the New York Post reported.

Click here to see more photos of the $37 million palace.

The 15-room apartment — featuring 11-foot-high ceilings, four fireplaces, three maid's rooms, a mahogany-paneled library and a gym upstairs — sold for twice what the previous owners, Democratic fundraisers Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, paid for it nearly two years ago, the Post reported.

Kraus is seen as a poster boy for the excess and irresponsibility on the part of America's financial institutions that helped drive them into the ground.

Although he did not officially start work until September, he hit it big after just a couple of days in office, when Merrill Lynch's CEO sold the company to Bank of America for $50 billion during the market meltdown.

And just in case his massive new pad isn't spacious enough, the building also features a squash court and wine cellar downstairs, according to real-estate broker Brown Harris Stevens.

Click here for more on this story from the New York Post.