by Ilya Podolyako
Though many economic indicators continue to look grim, the sense of crisis has largely faded from the front pages in the last few weeks. In my opinion, this is shift in demeanor of reporting is due to audience fatigue, not some fundamental change in the underlying dynamics of the economy. As the ever-prescient Onion points out, the American public has only so much tolerance for tragic stories, regardless of their source. For better or worse, however, calls for a drastic restructuring of the regulatory framework have quieted as of late. The Obama Administration has already spent a large amount of political capital on its first round of stimulus, the auto “bailouts,” and the day-to-day management of the financial sector, and will likely have to use up some more for further bank recapitalization and a possible second round of the stimulus. Unsurprisingly, in this environment, blueprints for a brand-new “systemic” financial regulator seem to have been shelved, despite a general consensus that some such entity is necessary to avoid future economic meltdowns.