Sharp Recovery
Aside from the interest rate, another reason to borrow now is the likelihood -- based on previous shocks -- that this recession will be sharp but short, meaning government revenues will quickly recover. While Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley both declared on Tuesday that a global recession is now underway, their base cases are for a revival in the second half of the year.

Analysis by Jamie Thompson of Oxford Economics Ltd. found that over the past 200 years, short recessions have usually been followed by a strong recovery. While there are risks, he expects global growth will grind to a halt in the second quarter before rebounding to a rapid 5% pace within a year.

The bigger the cushion under a collapsing economy, the less damage to repair afterward.

Olivier Blanchard, the former IMF chief economist, said on Twitter that it’s “no time to be squeamish” about public debt, backing it up with a list of U.S. deficits during World War II that peaked at 26% of economic output in 1943.

Blanchard’s line was echoed in the U.K., where Robert Chote, head of the independent budget watchdog, said it “is no abdication of budget responsibility to be spending what you need to spend to deal with this in the best way -- in some ways it’s like a wartime situation.”

Such calls to fiscal arms would have been surprising just months ago. As of October, the International Monetary Fund estimated that the average budget deficit in advanced economies adjusted for the ebbs and flows of the business cycle had reached 4.5% of gross domestic product, the most since 2012. It calculated that average debt burdens remained above 100% in those same economies.

Now, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva is among those backing the spending spree, calling this week for a “coordinated and synchronized global fiscal stimulus” akin to that seen during the financial crisis when the Group of 20 spent almost $900 billion in today’s money on stimulus, or 2% of their GDP.

Going Big
Trump seems to be heeding the advice with his call to go big.

Having historically fretted about debt levels, Wall Street investors have turned into a different kind of vigilante -- clamoring for the government to spend more, not less.

Scott Minerd at Guggenheim said Congress would probably need to sign off on a rescue program worth $2 trillion to “salvage viable companies.” According to Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 2009 to 2015, the U.S. stimulus may need to be $2.5 trillion.