This, too, just strikes me as wrong:

Today, such a response isn’t on the menu. The present strains aren’t caused by a lack of liquidity—U.S. companies, for one, are sitting on record cash piles—or too much leverage. Both corporate and personal balance sheets are no longer bloated with debt.

The real issue is a chronic lack of confidence by financial actors in one another and their governments’ ability to kick-start economic growth.

Personal balance sheets are no longer bloated with debt? Huh?

Narrative matters. It shows us how you see the world, and it helps explain it to others. These two crises are really more like one crisis, and they were both brought on by a financial industry run amok.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.