Interestingly, the fiscal stimulators have shifted from discussing Japan to discussing the Great Depression

But look at this:
Financial crisis management: Lessons from Japan’s lost decade | vox – Research-based policy analysis and commentary from leading economists

Fiscal stimulus packages may not work

One big lesson from Japan’s 1990s is that Keynesian policy per se did not work for the financial crisis due to the collapse of asset prices. While Japan undertook huge fiscal stimulus packages repeatedly in the 1990s, the government did not pursue a serious policy effort to make banks dispose of their nonperforming loans. As a result, a huge amount of hidden nonperforming loans swelled under implicit collusion between the government and banks. Naturally, the payment uncertainty and economic shrinkage persisted for years. The essential problem was the spreading of payment uncertainty, and policies centred on public works and tax cuts were not direct enough to attack the problem, though they were temporarily effective at mitigating the severity of the economic downturn. Direct debt relief for mortgage borrowers and distressed (but viable) firms, along with fiscal assistance for the liquidation of nonviable firms, are straightforward, cost-effective fiscal policies much more capable of wiping out the payment uncertainty than standard public works and tax cuts.

Could is be that they want fiscal stimulus for other reasons? The political economy is interesting, to say the least.


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