Maybe they'll be able to find a replacement for resigning chief Ken Lewis now? Bank of America is joining the bailout payback club, announcing late Wednesday that it will repay the $45 billion in taxpayer aid that helped it survive the meltdown—which will get it off the hook on executive pay restrictions. Lewis said the repayment shows the bailout worked: "It is a milestone indicating that public policy has succeeded in helping our industry and the economy begin to recover." But the Treasury won't let them give the cash back just yet: BofA is only allowed to do so if they meet a set of guidelines suggesting good financial health, including raising an additional $4 billion in equity before summer. JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs repaid their federal bailouts last fall.
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