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The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials.
The administration believes it can sidestep the rules because, in many cases, it has decided not to provide federal aid directly to financial companies, the sources said. Instead, the government has set up special entities that act as m
When the Bush administration announced the program in November, officials directed the Fed to apply the pay limits to the lenders because they stood to benefit the most from the program. "There was a public hunger for executive-compensation restrictions, and we knew we couldn't be tone-deaf to the politics there," a former Bush administration official said.