The Reserve Bank of Australia is attempting to pull off a confidence trick.
By slicing interest rates to a fresh record low and promising more cuts if needed, it is trying to reassure us that it has our back while coronavirus buffets the economy.
But the fact that the official cash rate has been dragged down to just 0.5 per cent is also a measure of the concern the central bank has about the weakness of the economy, both here and internationally.
Things were hardly going gangbusters even before Covid-19 first emerged in Wuhan.
Official growth figures due out on Wednesday are expected to show there was just a mild uplift in the Australian economy in the last three months of 2019, as soaring house prices and strong exports were offset by weak wage growth, tepid business investment and negligible productivity gains.
Globally, growth was being hampered by the US-China trade war and soft consumption even before the virus hit. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development reckons the impact of Covid-19 on confidence, financial markets, travel and disruption to supply chains will lop 0.5 of a percentage point off activity this year, driving the rate of world economic expansion down to a weak 2.4 per cent.
RBA governor Philip Lowe has a complicated task.
As he admitted when announcing the latest rate cut, there is no knowing how deep and long-lasting the economic effects of coronavirus will be. But he also tried to convey confidence that when the threat is "contained" (or we at least learn how to live with it) the economy will rebound.
The problem is that the Reserve Bank is running low on policy ammunition.
It can deliver just two more rate cuts before hitting zero, and there are serious questions about whether they would make much difference when consumer and business confidence is down.
Dr Lowe has indicated the RBA would only contemplate undertaking quantitative easing - the bond-buying policy pursued by central banks in the United States and Europe to inject credit into the economy following the global financial crisis - once the cash rate hit 0.25 per cent.
As of late last year, he was still saying that moment was a fair way off.
As of Tuesday it has come a lot closer.
But while the RBA has in the last nine months been doing what it can the support growth, the federal government has been content to largely stay on the sidelines, focusing instead on delivering a surplus.
The coronavirus looks likely to have put paid to that hope, even if the bushfires didn't.
Even so, the government's finances are in good shape, and it has ample room to provide the stimulus the economy needs.
Economists suggest bringing forward tax cuts, increase Newstart and other payments or even provide cash handouts.
Over to you, Prime Minister.