What Does Washington Want Wall Street To Do With That Bonus Money? Give It Back?

Members of the Obama administration have taken turns deploring the billions of dollars in year-end bonuses the finance industry is getting ready to hand out. Never mentioned is what they think firms should do with the money. Give it back to their customers? Spend it on office decorations?

Firms can’t just wish away revenue sitting on their books. That’s an accounting crime. More to the point, aren’t surging banker bonuses amid a general downturn the proximate and necessary outcome of Washington’s recovery Heimlich, which involves doling out free money to banks and artificially goosing asset prices?

Er, wasn’t this the plan?

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