Look what taxpayers' Wall Street rescue helped buy one former honcho!
Peter Kraus - a former top executive at Merrill Lynch who received a $25 million golden parachute after only three months' work
- has landed himself a $37 million Park Avenue pad.
Kraus, 55, doled out the staggering sum for the five-bedroom co-op at 720 Park Ave. near East 70th Street after taking $25 million from Merrill after the company was sold to Bank of America in September.
The palatial pad - featuring 11-foot-high ceilings, three fireplaces, three maid's rooms, a library, a gallery and a family room/gym - sold for twice what the previous owners, Democratic fund-raisers Carl Spielvogel and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, paid for it nearly two years ago.
Before Merrill hired Kraus as an executive vice president, he negotiated a $50 million pay package for himself - with the bulk of that guaranteed to him if the company was sold.
Although he did not officially start work until September, Kraus hit the jackpot after just a couple of days, when Merrill CEO John Thain sold the company to Bank of America for $50 billion amid the stock-market meltdown.
The sale automatically triggered the $25 million payout under Kraus' contract. He left Merrill this month. The amount represents about 0.1 percent of Bank of America's $25 billion capital injection from the government as part of Congress' rescue package.