The near collapse of the financial system and the massive government bailout were just bumps in the road for Wall Street, it turns out, and notwithstanding public ire, the big banks are on pace this year to pay their employees at pre-crisis levels, The Washington Post reports.

"So far this year," the Post reports, "the top six U.S. banks have set aside $74 billion to pay their employees, up from $60 billion in the corresponding period last year." The standout is Goldman Sachs, which returned its $10 billion in bailout funds last month. It's on pace to pay its employees an average "of about $773,000, more than double the figure last year and even exceeding the $700,000 paid in 2007."

Other links this morning:
AIG Held Off Bonuses Planned for Last Week (WSJ)
Goldman Agrees to Higher Price in Buying Back Taxpayers' Stake (WaPo)
CIT Bond Advisers Said to Push for Bankruptcy After August Swap (Bloomberg)
Treasury Set to Buy Small Biz Loans With $15 Billion in Bailout Funds (WaPo)
Vote on Consumer Agency Delayed (WaPo)
Obama Proposes New Transaction Fees for Financial Firms' Riskiest Investments (WSJ)