This is Krugman's phrase and it's dead on:
"So what we know even for the US is that the TARP and QE were perhaps enough to forestall disaster, but not to produce recovery — and Europe has the additional problem of huge needed realignments in competitiveness, which would be much easier if the ECB announced a dramatic loosening — which is didn’t."
Krugman still doesn't think they went far enough though he admits its's an improvement:
"Not nearly enough, then. Yet markets were buoyed."
"I guess you can argue that this was sort of a downpayment — that it is the harbinger of bigger policy changes to come. I hope so. But I suspect, like Wyplosz, that we’re overreacting to the simple if admittedly surprising failure to achieve disaster."
Still, even if Tarp is not enough it's a big start. True as he says Tarp wasn't enough to bring us all the way back here in the US, however, it did forestall another full Depression. While we should not have cut government spending at the state and local level it's still better than what Europe has had until now. If they can avoid depression and delfation this is a major step up.
What is worrisome-besides the crucial fact that Merkel is now describing a very different deal in Germany than Hollande and others are in France and elsewhere-is that the European version of Tarp may be more limited as Krugman notes:
"Charles Wyplosz argues, sensibly, that it was nowhere close. The main substantive thing was the agreement in principle to set up something more or less like a European version of the TARP, in which funds for bank recapitalization will be supplied by a consortium rather than lent to governments already overburdened with debt. Good move, and Irish bond buyers are especially happy. But even this doesn’t take effect right away."
"Also some bond purchases, but not by the ECB, so limited in size. So think of this as a very small version of quantitative easing."