I found this chart interesting, but am not entirely sure what conclusion to draw (via Zero Hedge)
In 2009, I think most everyone understood that the economy would have to reduce debt and that this process would be painful in terms of creating years of slow growth. The good news from this chart is that the financial and consumer deleveraging has indeed been occurring, so at least our pain is not for naught. The debate that will likely go on for years after this recession is whether the rapidly increasing Federal debt helped or hurt: did it help offset the cost of the private deleveraging, or did it drag out the recession by keeping total debt levels from dropping? Is it private debt that matters, or total debt? Of course this makes the analysis more complicated.