The Bailout: Public Anger, Private Talks

Congress is wary of angry voters, but behind the scenes a compromise is forming. Executive pay restrictions may be near
(L-R) U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox, and director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency James Lockhart III Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With public sentiment casting the Bush Administration's plan to resolve the financial crisis as a bailout for the firms that caused it, Senate Banking Committee members took turns grilling Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke at a hearing on Sept. 23. Behind the scenes, however, many expected nuts-and-bolts negotiation to yield a compromise bill, perhaps over the weekend if not by Friday's scheduled adjournment. Agreement was already coalescing to require some restrictions on executive pay at companies that sell toxic assets to the Treasury, one financial-industry official said.

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