03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Government Aid Fueled Surge On Wall Street

It may come as a surprise that one of the most powerful forces driving the resurgence on Wall Street is not the banks but Washington. Many of the steps that policy makers took last year to stabilize the financial system -- reducing interest rates to near zero, bolstering big banks with taxpayer money, guaranteeing billions of dollars of financial institutions' debts -- helped set the stage for this new era of Wall Street wealth.

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