Credit is the economy's lifeblood. The global credit clog — which started a year ago and grew much more severe in the past few weeks — has made it increasingly difficult for people and businesses to borrow money. The crisis — if it persists — could plunge the economy into a recession, President Bush and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke have warned.
Another way to make the same point: the economy is based on debt. It produces debt. We are now in a crisis of overproduction.
(Also, note: the threat is recession; we've been hearing about being in or on the verge of recession for nearly a year; and, they don't say that this could prevent recession--and most economics think it can't.)