The picture that speaks 99 Billion words.
This graph was modified from a previous graphic from the Federal Reserve, updating it to reflect the data as of April 9, 2008. This gives a very visual read on the historical significance of the events transpiring. Show this to anyone who still clings to the mainstream line about a normal short-lived recession... we are living through an event which is very far outside of the realm of a 'normal' market reversal.
For those new to the term, here is a definition of non-borrowed reserves from Answers.com:
Measure of banking system reserves, consisting of Total Reserves (member bank deposits in Federal Reserve Banks, plus vault cash), less funds borrowed (Borrowed Reserves) at the Federal Reserve Discount Window. The amount of nonborrowed reserves is computed weekly by the Federal Reserve.
Now, essentially what we're seeing is the effect of the Term Auction Facility - the program under which the Fed has loaned a total of $360 Billion thus far. Despite the unprecedented scope of Fed actions to shore up bank balance sheets, though, the frightening truth is that the U.S. banking system at present is utterly insolvent.