Damned if they do, damned if they don't?
Back then the argument was that governments needed to act together to prevent another Great Depression. Now the worry is that they will hurt the recovery if they withdraw that support all at the same time.
But there is one crucial difference. In April 2009, any student of economic history could tell you which policies would maximise the chance of recovery - or at least minimise the chance of economic catastrophe.
The hard truth about today's situation may be that there is no perfect mix of policies that can guarantee a strong recovery after a financial crisis this severe, and a run-up in sovereign borrowing this large.
Put it another way: we could be damned if governments do cut borrowing rapidly - with the global economy still fragile - but we could also be damned if they don't.
You can make the argument any number of ways - let me do it, in shorthand, by referring you to a handful of seemingly disparate events of the past day or two.
The best growth money can buy
First was the downward revision to US growth in the first quarter, from an annualised rate of 3% to 2.7%. That may not sound too bad, especially compared to much weaker growth rates for the UK and the eurozone over the same period - but it comes on the back of very disappointing figures from the housing market earlier in the week.
Growth was probably stronger in the second quarter, but the housing figures have many economists muttering about a loss of momentum later in the year. And remember - this is still the "best recovery that money can buy". Last year's stimulus is still having effect. Next year the money will have largely run out.
But if you look across the Atlantic to Europe, the news isn't much better.
If there's a country in the world that has taken the tough decisions on borrowing, it is Ireland. As I've written in the past, the Irish government cut spending or raised taxes by more than 5% of GDP in 2009 alone, even as its economy was heading off a cliff.
Reporting on its latest consultations with the Irish, the IMF begins by pouring praise on the government, using words like "assertive", "resolve" and "credibility" in describing what the government had done - and how it had been received in the markets.
But that's about as good as it gets. The report goes on:
"Ireland is likely to emerge from its output contraction into a period of relatively modest growth potential and high unemployment.... The improved global outlook will help, but to a limited extent."
Finally, "home-grown imbalances from the boom years will act as a drag on growth. The unwinding of these imbalances--arising from rapid credit growth, inflated property prices, and high wage and price levels--will limit the upside potential."
So, Ireland may have done all the right things as far as the sovereign bond markets are concerned - the financial crisis has still left it looking at a bleak three to four years.
Not everyone is in the same boat as Ireland. But all governments are under pressure to demonstrate - to their citizens and to international investors - that they can both get their public finances in order and achieve a decent recovery.
As the Spanish government discovered recently, the promise of fiscal austerity, with no growth for years to come, is not much more credible to the markets than the promise to keep on clocking up the debt. Today the cost of insuring against a Greek sovereign default hit an all-time high.
The G20 leaders will paper over their differences in their final communiqué on Sunday - they can't paper over the fact that this crisis has left them very few good economic options over the next few years.