On the Today Programme this morning, Gordon Brown backed away from the PBR’s claim that the economy would start to grow again in the third quarter this year, adding a slew of caveats about the need for international cooperation to make his actions effective. But looking at the JP Morgan chart above, brings home just how bad the situation is. The banks have lost $1.25 trillion in value since the crisis began. Considering the importance of the banking system and credit to any recovery, it seems unlikely that the British and American economies are to start growing again anytime soon. We are facing a recession that appears to be more on the scale of the 1930s than the 1970s.