Remember that $700 billion Troubled Asset Recovery Program? It turns out that plenty of assets are still troubled, and there's been very little recovery of them. But many of the big banks that took TARP money from the government have been able to pay it back.
And the reason they did is simple. Their top people want to make more money, and it doesn't help Washington if TARP bank executives are taking millions from taxpayers a year after they nearly brought the world financial system to its knees. A recent Bloomberg News poll shows that 66% of Americans have an unfavorable view of financial executives, and 75% think they shouldn't get bonuses.