The substitution of sovereign credit for private credit has helped to fend off some of the extremes of the solvency crisis. However, when we look back on this period, I very much suspect that the force that will be seen to have been most instrumental to global economic recovery will be a partial reversal of the $35,000bn global loss in corporate equity values that has so devastated financial intermediation.

What is undeniable is that stock market prices today are being suppressed by a degree of fear not experienced since the early 20th century (1907 and 1932 come to mind). But history tells us that there is a limit to how deep, and for how long, fear can paralyse market participants. The pace of economic deterioration cannot persist indefinitely.