Goldman Sachs has recovered quite nicely from the recession they helped create. They’ve paid back the bailout money already, and freed from the strings that came with it, they’re rewarding themselves for their business prowess with executive compensation above pre-crash levels. How did they do it? By being smarter than the other banks. Oh, it’s not that they didn’t play the same risky game with mortgage-backed securities and derivatives; they just saw the disaster coming before everyone else did and passed off their toxic assets to less prescient investors. To the victor the spoils. What’s especially troubling about all this is that neither they nor the government seems to have learned anything. So far the Wall Streeters in the Obama administration have shown little interest in actually fixing the system. The heart of the problem is precisely the executive compensation Sachs is lavishing upon itself. Without strict limits on how much these robber barons can help themselves to, the temptation to rig the game once more will be too great, and another economic meltdown is inevitable.