Looks like Goldman Sachs will be the first of Wall Street’s battered banks to pay back its debts to the federal government: The bank has announced stronger than expected first-quarter earnings of $1.81 billion and a plan to raise $5 billion by selling shares to investors. Last fall, Goldman took $10 billion in taxpayer money, and with it came tough federal restrictions on executive compensation. The pay caps, Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein said, are “going to limit our ability to compete, both here and abroad.” Possible hurdle: The government says it won’t allow any major bank to pay the money back until it has passed a “stress test” to ensure the bank can continue lending.
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