Direct Stimulation

Despite the comparable size of their stimulus packages, China is rapidly outpacing the US in its economic recovery. Zachary Karabell explores why:

[T]he Chinese government, controlled as it is by an autocratic, hierarchical party formally known as communist, does not have to negotiate the challenges of the labyrinthine American system. The Beijing government decided to spend money, and within a few months, money was being put to work--primarily on infrastructure projects in the interior of the country, but also on stimulative measures such as handing out pre-paid cards to encourage consumer spending. The central government also mandated--from the People's Bank of China down to the thousands of local commercial bank branches--a more open approach to lending, which led to a substantial expansion of credit throughout the country.

TNR also has a photo slideshow illustrating how China is spending its stimulus. It's always easier to stimulate a less developed economy, of course. Obama has FDR's problem without FDR's easier industrial economy solutions.