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Call It What It Is: Relief

A bonus used to be unexpected.  Almost a surprise.  In many cases now bonuses are negotiated before the fact, just like salaries. They are, in fact, close to entitlements.  And many in the higher echelons of investments and banking still seem to think that they are rewards to which they are actually entitled. Even if the institutions for which they work would not still be in business unless they--they, being the institutions--had supped at the federal trough which, of course, they did.

Ninety counting houses have received government relief.  (I like that word since it is vivid and vividly related to the old kind of relief that the indigent poor used to get.  Maybe it will also take a toll on the hauteur of the once-oh-so-majestic financiers.)

And why, by the way, was money from TARP allocated to institutions like Northern Trust which performed relatively well on the scale of awfully others did?