Shareholders wield their clout over executive packages.
Some of them, including Lincoln Financial, have bought small banks or thrifts in the hope of qualifying for government help.
Almost all of the TARP cash is spoken for, and some Senators and oversight officials complained of being left in the dark about its use at a hearing on Tuesday.
Deficit projections mean even Democrats are looking for ways to trim, some of them gimmicky.
Even Democrats signal adjustments are likely, given rising projections for budgetary red ink.
Many moves were already under way to change the compensation culture.
Members of both parties are mad at the insurance giant. But big questions remain over what they can do about it.