MILAN – It is hard to be optimistic about America at present. With the help of crucial government support in the crisis, the US financial sector (or at least parts of it) has bounced back, while America’s real economy struggles with high unemployment, discouraged labor-force dropouts, and damaged balance sheets.
So it is no surprise that the American public and the US Congress are angry. The focus of that anger has been the massive and unwise financial-sector bonuses. As a result, regulatory reforms have thus far consisted of, first, a threat to the Federal Reserve’s autonomy, and, second, a tax on bonuses.