Investors may have gotten a better deal under the Treasury Department's toxic-assets plan as a result of public furor over bonuses paid by American International Group. Congress' push to tax the bonuses made some fund managers reluctant to support the toxic-assets plan, fearing they may be retroactively punished in the future. "It's clear they needed to get buy-in from the private sector," said Sharyn O'Halloran, a political economist at Columbia University, on Treasury efforts over the weekend to entice big investors.

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