Wait a minute, said Hamilton Nolan in Gawker. What year is this? Wall Street, after accepting a huge federal bailout, is preparing to award a record $140 billion in bonuses this year, while "we're cutting the pay of non–Wall Streeters in half, and lowering the minimum wage." So much for responding to the economic crisis by putting a stop to "fiscal profligacy."
Oddly, there was "little of that Tea Party outrage" we've come to expect over these record bonuses, said Johanna Neuman in the Los Angeles Times. "Maybe taxpayers have simply given up on Washington's efforts to corral Wall Street." Or maybe, now that the Dow Jones industrial average has hit 10,000 again, ordinary Americans have moved on.
Congress and the Obama administration told off the banks last spring, said Joe B. White in The Wall Street Journal, but they have gone on to other priorities, such as health care and Afghanistan. Now "technocrats at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury’s pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, have taken over the task of devising ways to make it harder for banks to reward risky behavior without killing competitiveness." But if taxpayers don't "simmer down" too, Wall Street banks still could be hit by another "storm of populist outrage" before long.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
- George W. Bush 'ran the country like a cable network,' and other political insights from Chris Rock
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- How Wall Street is chipping away at reform
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