1) business cycles are a thing of the past because our economy is too diverse and we are too big relative to the rest of the world,
2) what we experienced over the past year was a modest downturn, probably a slight drop in annual GDP with a large rise in unemployment because of fifteen years of productivity growth that made many jobs obsolete,
3) the financial downturn (not the economy) was serious and extraordinary and we have no idea what caused it and we may not know for years or decades, (maybe it was Eliot Spitzer picking on Hank Greenberg)
4) the economic and financial downturns ended in mid-February without any stimulus or government bailouts,
5) some business segments, such as the Internet, never had a slow-down. Everything to do with low cost Chinese imports has been thriving,
6) a media supported 'depression hysteria' overwhelmed the country and still does,
7) since March there has been a boom on the West-coast (Vancouver, Seattle, S.F. and Peninsula, South LA and West LA),
8) everything we ever knew about financial investing was wrong...completely wrong, portfolio diversity doesn't work.9) San Francisco, these days, is a boom-town extraordinaire.
The rest of the country is suffering from irrelevant outmoded government policies offering life-support for dead industries and static unemployed populations. Move those workers, tear down every remaining tariff barrier and give citizenship to every foreign grad student in the U.S. and to most other foreign visitors who have long term jobs here. Even the depressed areas could pick up.