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Business as usual for investment bankers

"Now that we've stepped back a few paces from the brink — thanks, let's not forget, to immense, taxpayer-financed rescue packages — the financial sector is rapidly returning to business as usual," columnist Paul Krugman warned. "Even as the rest of the nation continues to suffer from rising unemployment and severe hardship, Wall Street paychecks are heading back to pre-crisis levels. And the industry is deploying its political clout to block even the most minimal reforms." Krugman argues that one of the biggest problems is that investment bankers are still "lavishly rewarded if they deliver big short-term profits — but aren't correspondingly punished if they later suffer even bigger losses," which encourages excessive risk-taking.

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