Last night, we were disturbed that outgoing Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis "agreed" to give up his 2009 salary at the "suggestion" of ominously titled Special Master for Compensation Kenneth Feinberg. Then we were reminded that Lewis is getting more than $69.5 million in retirement benefits, and may have lied to shareholders about Merrill Lynch bonuses, and we felt a little less bad for him. But still, we thought, the government shouldn't be strong-arming people into giving up their paychecks by essentially threatening to expose them to massive public-relations battles, which is barbaric. Nor should they just be able to arbitrarily decide someone has made "enough." Then we saw this morning that Bank of America, which still has $45 billion in TARP money, lost $1 billion this quarter, and we felt less bad, again.
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