There were the AIG retreats at fun places and the GM executive travel by private super-jets. But these were the only routine excesses that were snared in the press. Be assured that in all the sinking vessels of American capitalism there is still open-handed spending. All of this, however, is only small potatoes, showing the captains of commerce have no inner core by which they can read their own misdeeds.

What about the guardians of our banks, investment house, industrial complexes that are now at the federal trough? And by "guardians" I mean the top five or so executives at each of these institutions and their directors whose remuneration has not been cut or even, for that matter, examined.

There is grumbling in the street and and a bit in Congress. But no action. And no real pressure for actions either.

But justice will not be done until pay and other favors are cut in keeping with the measure of the disasters over which these men and women presided and of which they approved.  Or rubber-stamped.

The Wall Street Journal has raised what might otherwise be only a populist--and probably ignored--issue in an editorial, "Citi's Taxpayer Parachute," that asks the stark question: "Why are Robert Rubin and other directors still employed?"  It's a question that begs for answers.