To stop the economic recession from slipping into a depression, Barack Obama shouldn’t mince words: Americans need to go shopping and support federal efforts to rescue banks and homeowners, Thomas Friedman writes in the New York Times. “No, it’s not fair. But fairness is not on the menu anymore,” he argues. “We will deal with that later. Right now we need to throw everything we can at this problem.”
The trouble is, Friedman continues, Americans created a new, highly explosive situation by mixing together four lethal "chemicals"—massive leverage, intertwined world economy and global financial institutions, and toxic mortgages—that blew up in our faces, and we still don’t fully grasp the extent of the damage. "Rent Jaws," suggests Friedman. "We’re at that moment when Roy Scheider first sets eyes on the Great White and says to the skipper: 'You’re gonna need a bigger boat.' "