One other point worth noting on the story of Mack Whittle
-- the former CEO of a South Carolina bank, whose expedited retirement date ensured that his company could get bailout money without his compensation package being limited by restrictions on CEO pay that were part of the bill.
Whittle got an $18-million golden parachute when he left late last month. But as the bank itself, South Financial, noted in a statement
in response to the controversy, less than 15 percent of that total would have exceeded the pay limit imposed by Congress.
In other words, the limits on executive pay that Congress insisted on turn out to have very few teeth. That's in part because there are no limits on pensions -- so Whittle's $9 million pension would have been unaffected.
Senate Democrats last month tried to push
the Treasury Department toward establishing stricter limits on executive pay. But during negotiations over the bailout, Treasury expressed the concern that stricter limits would reduce participation in the program.