We having nothing to fear but fear itself?
I have been watching with some interest various groups trying to track where the stimulus money has gone to and why it hasn't had the desired effect. The idea behind stimulus is that in a downturn you have idle economic capacity - both capital and labour - and the aim of stimulus is to get money moving again when businesses and consumers won't spend.
But what happens if you hand out stimulus and a fair portion of it goes into debt reduction rather than spending? That is what happened to some of the stimulus passed out in 2008-2010, it went into paying down debt or even boosting savings. Some of it wound up in China where it was also saved. Then the banks in their turn were more interested in reducing their own debt problems than lending that money out again.
So you have this catch 22 - Governments around the world are handing out cash and that cash is not being spent and therefore is not stimulating the economy.
Even here in Australia retail is suffering as people pay off mortages and credit cards rather than shop. The problem is that so many people think that the GFC will get far, far worse and they are trying to build up reserves.
In many ways this reminds me of the Great Depression where it took a World War to spur the world economy out of its slump.