Should Lloyds pay a bonus?
On 13 October, after receiving significant financial support from taxpayers, Lloyds TSB said this: "Although they will be entitled to take cash as an alternative, Lloyds TSB will ask executive directors to receive their 2008 bonus entitlement in Lloyds TSB shares. These will be subject to a restriction on sale until December 2009."
In other words, the board of Lloyds - which is now called Lloyds Banking Group - expected to pay substantial bonuses to the bank's most senior executives in respect of their performance last year.
There are five of these executive directors, led by the chief executive, Eric Daniels. And their aggregate entitlement to bonuses will run to millions of pounds.
As of now, Lloyds still intends to pay this bonus.
However, Lloyds' board has a few weeks to decide whether to press ahead. What should it do? Should Lloyds' executive directors be paid a bonus?
The executive will feel they have earned it - in that the financial performance of Lloyds TSB, before it bought HBOS, was quite a lot better than that of many other banks.
Also, Mr Daniels and his team will feel they've already made a sacrifice, by agreeing to take the payment in shares that can't be sold for a year rather than in ready cash.
But paying any bonus in any form to any banker right now is contentious, to put it mildly (see my assorted notes of the past couple of days).
And at least one reason for not paying the bonus to Lloyds' directors is that the bank's recent share price performance has been lamentable. As I've pointed out many times, it's tricky to pay fat rewards to managers of a business when the owners of said business are being mullered.
That said, part of the explanation for Lloyds' weak share price is that it recently bought HBOS, which has been incurring horrible losses on loans to companies and is expected to suffer further as mortgage borrowers run into difficulties.
Lloyds would argue that it was doing the world a favour by effectively rescuing the battered owner of the Halifax.
But Lloyds didn't buy HBOS as an act of charity, even though it was encouraged to do so by the prime minister and the Treasury. Eric Daniels expects to make good profits out of HBOS in years to come.
So if the City has become nervous of the risks in turning HBOS around, then it might be sensible for Mr Daniels and his team to show restraint on pay and cancel their bonuses for 2008 - in the hope and expectation that they can prove in years to come that their confidence in the benefits of the takeover were well-founded.
Oh, and then there's dirty, grimy politics.
Taxpayers own 43 per cent of Lloyds, via the state's shareholding which is managed by UK Financial Investments.
Although that's not majority control, it's big enough to veto any substantial decision that Lloyds might want to take. So if Lloyds' board decides to pay substantial performance-related wonga to Mr Daniels and his senior team, that puts on the spot those who are looking after the taxpayers' shareholding.
Which means, as if you needed telling, that the prime minister - who made his reputation in the early 1990s as the scourge of the so-called "fat cats" - will have to decide whether Eric Daniels and his team deserve a few million pounds of bonus.
The partial nationalisation of the banking system is generating all sorts of intriguing new challenges for government.