The question is: Today, are you feeling stimulated? Honestly?
All the papers lead with the big news that Congress passed president Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill Friday night. The Washington Post says the bill's passage marks the beginning of a new ideological era with the federal government at the center of the nation's economic recovery. The New York Times highlights the bill's limits on executive compensation, which are stricter than those proposed recently by the Obama administration. The Wall Street Journal notes that Wall Street reacted to the "last minute" restrictions with consternation. The Los Angeles Times leads with a sunny report that the stimulus will stimulate "almost every corner of American society." A front-page WP article says Congress went much further than Obama wanted to go in limiting executive pay, and the NYT's lead story says Senate Democrats actually did so over the administration's objections. Executives at all firms that have benefited or will benefit from government funds will be allowed bonuses of only one-third the size of their salaries and only available in company stock, and only redeemable after the government's investment has been repaid. The WSJ reports that the rules are somewhat open to interpretation. The Times says the new restrictions amount to a "bad report card" from Congress for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner for failing to be tough on firms that have already received bailout cash. Critics of the new rules say they will cause a too-quick repayment of funds or else "brain drain"—top talent will flee to hedge funds or foreign banks.