Biggest game in town
It started in the US. And that is where it must end.
For all the talk of the rising power of the East, the passage of today's $819bn stimulus package reminds us that some things haven't changed.
The very absence of US policymakers from Davos tells the story. None of them are here because they're too busy saving the world.
In 10 or 20 years' time, the world economy will probably have other engines it can turn to when American demand starts to falter. But right now, we are still all chained to the buying capacity of the US.
Chinese and Russians officials don't like America's presumption. Their complaints about the US are today festooned on the front page of the FT.
Having caused the crisis, the Chinese premier effectively suggested the Americans should show a bit more humility in deciding the best way out.
Igor Yurgens, a senior advisor to the Russian president, took a sharper tack. He said President Obama's stimulus package was "selfish" and philosophically akin to protectionism.
Bill Clinton is the closest thing Davos has to a senior US official this year and he responded pretty directly at a packed session this morning.
"The Chinese PM is right. It all started in the US." But, he said, the only way out was through a US stimulus, and that depended on other countries buying US debt - primarily countries like China that are "export-dependent, cash-rich but hurting."
The world needs the Chinese to stimulate their domestic economy to help fill the gap left by collapsing US demand. But I doubt that any Russian or Chinese policymakers seriously want the Americans to sit on their hands.
At the heart of the spats with the US is a more basic frustration that the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency means that, yet again, America is getting a free pass.
Governments all over the world are plunging into deficit to get themselves out of this mess. And the more profligate they were in the past, the more they are paying the price in the form of a falling currency. Witness what's happened to the pound.
But not the US. Because it is the world's reserve currency it can flood the world with US debt, and the dollar barely falters. It has even risen a little today.
It's not fair. And it may change. But for the moment, America and its currency are the biggest game in town.