If the governments through central banks can not pump in enough liquidity to unfreeze the credit markets, then we will have a depression. A substantial Recession is for sure now. What has everyone shaking in their boots is that thus far every bit of liquidity pumped in by governments ($trillions) has gone straight to the vaults, banks and shadow banks have not been willing to let the money work in the markets because they think for their individual survival they must hoard cash. So long as banks and shadow banks continue with this practice no amount of money pumped in (and this is now mostly taxpayer money pumped it) will make any difference. This is the reason governments have in the last two weeks turned on a dime and are now moving to nationalize the banks. The thing is that doing this drives home how much of a crisis situation this is, and scares everyone even more. There may be absolutely nothing we can do now to prevent a depression, nobody will know for awhile.
The underlining problem is a lack of confidence in the global financial system and in governments, and the trio of bush, McCain and Obama have all been less than reassuring so no one figures a fix for the underlining problems is on the way. If America fails to fix the problem that America created (lax systems with lots of fraud, which was forced onto the rest of the world over the last decades) then the global community is going to have to come together and create a new financial system to replace the one that does not work, which will take years. The next president must undertake reform of FDR proportions, but thus far neither Obama nor McCain indicate that they understand, or have any ideas.