Should the banks back Britain?
A survey of one (me) would corroborate the recent Bank of England assessment of credit conditions, to the effect that banks are providing a few more loans to business than they were and - perhaps more importantly - are being a bit more sensitive to the needs of business.
For me, the change in banks' behaviour may have taken place a month or so ago.
Before that - through the autumn and winter - I would receive a steady number of complaints from small and medium size businesses that banks were pushing them under by capriciously depriving them of borrowing facilities or increasing the cost of such facilities to lethal levels.
It was impossible to investigate all the charges against the banks in detail. But I was persuaded that there was a serious problem.
Banks were not being wholly rational in their decisions about whether to provide vital credit to the supplicant businesses.
Some bank managers were exploiting technical breaches of borrowing agreements or covenants - breaches that really didn't imply that a business was in serious trouble - to demand their money back or screw a massive increase in fees or interest out of the vulnerable borrower.
It's impossible to know how many fundamentally sound businesses were killed off by banks' panicky attempts to cut their losses. But there was a fair amount of collateral damage to the innocent as banks brutally reduced the availability of loans to match the depletion in both their capital and in their ability to raise funds on wholesale markets.
Most at risk were the smaller companies.
Bigger ones - especially those owned by private-equity funds - were (and still are) being squeezed by the banks till the pips squeaked. That said, when it came to these larger businesses, banks' aim was typically to wipe out the equity in the business, push up fees and scoop 100% of whatever value could be realised, rather than kill off the business.
Then, in January or so, the penny dropped for banks with a resounding and deafening clank.
More-or-less all of them realised that they wouldn't still be standing if it weren't for the massive support of us, of taxpayers, in the form of loans, guarantees, insurance and investment (to the tune of about £1.3 trillion of succour from the authorities in this country alone, aggregating these different categories of support).
So if we were propping up the banks, and the banks were simultaneously destroying the economic fabric of the nation, well that wouldn't and didn't seem a fair exchange.
As a result, the message seems to have gone out from bank bosses to bank managers that they must behave properly: killing a viable business to recoup a loan isn't a banking strategy with a long-term future.
That said, if I'm receiving fewer cries for help from companies claiming they're being destroyed by banks, I am receiving an increasing number of complaints that banks are refusing to back sensible, legitimate expansion plans and investment opportunities.
Many companies see scope in the current recession to increase their market share or diversify. But they tell me that raising even modest amounts of additional working capital or longer-term loans from banks is hideously difficult.
If that is a generalised trend, it would be seriously bad news for all of us - because it would mean that banks' fears of taking any kind of new risk would be limiting the creation of jobs, tax-revenues and income, at a time when all three are in short supply.
Of course, the risks of lending rise in a recession, for the obvious reason that the incidence of bankruptcy rises (doh!).
But as an explicit aim of government policy, taxpayers have recapitalised two of our biggest banks - Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds - and provided other kinds of financial support to the others, so that they have the resources to lend now that credit is most needed.
All of which means that there is now something of an imperative for banks to demonstrate rather more than they have that they retain an appetite to back wealth creators.
For me, however, the really resonant question is whether we should expect British banks to bend over backwards to help British businesses, as opposed to overseas businesses.
What I don't mean is that they should engage in financial protectionism, that they should retrench back to the UK and withdraw credit from other countries.
In fact, there is quite a lot of that return-to-home banking going on. And, as I've been writing here for some time, this is disturbing - because it represents a beggar-my-neighbour retreat from financial globalisation which is exacerbating the worldwide recession.
Here's the trickier question. In a world of scarce resources, and where a bank faces a choice between competing investment decisions where the potential risks and rewards are similar, should that bank choose the investment that protects jobs and income in the UK?
This may seem somewhat academic.
But I suspect for international banks, it's frequently a genuine dilemma.
The issue was brought to my attention in a recent decision by a specially created company called SeaDragon Offshore, which is funded by Lloyds Banking Group, to switch the construction of two semi-submersible oil drilling rigs from the North East to Singapore.
The contracts would have been worth something over £200m to UK companies and would have supported 1200 or so high-skilled, high-paid construction jobs.
There wouldn't be any kind of an issue here if the construction was always going to be carried out in Singapore. But what's slightly alarming is that the work was originally going to be done on Teesside and was subsequently switched to Asia - and a last ditch attempt to win the business back by a newly created Tyne/Tees consortium has also flopped.
The question for Lloyds is why the risk of doing the work in the UK was perceived, in the end, to be excessive - given that the initial decision had been to place the order with North East construction firms.
And, I suppose, the bigger related question for the senior management of all the big British banks is whether there's any harm in sending out a message to their staff that - all other things being equal - they should look more kindly on requests for finance from businesses that support the British economy.
Or would even mild nationalism of that ilk undermine their managers' ability to make rational lending decisions?