Don't laugh. The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve and the White House and Congress really are all working to fix this mess. They're making lots of mistakes. They're doing some things too quickly and many things too slowly. A political climate increasingly hostile to bailouts is, to a certain extent, tying their hands. But the reaction to the current crisis has been infinitely smarter and more forceful than that of the early years of the Great Depression. And for all the comparisons you hear to Japan's Lost Decade, in the 1990s, U.S. authorities will have to dillydally for seven or eight more years to make them accurate.