Barack Obama had difficulty pronouncing the name of his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, but people forgave him. In fact, they forgave him for almost everything: his aura seemed to glow ever brighter as he made his first foray into global, crisis-busting diplomacy.
First came the housing bust, followed by eroding job security and dwindling retirement accounts. Now, the worst downturn in decades is nibbling away at something so entrenched that people took it for granted: simple, everyday convenience.
The Treasury Department is trying to ensure broader participation from hedge funds and other private investors in its bad asset purchase program by loosening the criteria for those who want to take part.