Delivering economic stimulus, addressing rising public debt and avoiding inflation

Richard Wood (The Australian Treasury, Canberra, Australia)

Journal of Financial Economic Policy

ISSN: 1757-6385

Publication date: 6 April 2012



The purpose of this paper is to review monetary policy options in countries assumed to be suffering from two common economic problems: deficient private demand and high and rising public debt.


The analytical approach assumes that relevant authorities have decided that new money creation is necessary to address their economic problems. The paper asks the question: how should this new money creation best be deployed to create the required economic stimulus in the context of rising public debt?


The first finding is that the latest rounds of “quantitative easing” in the USA (QE2) and Japan are likely to be inefficient, largely ineffective and have adverse side‐effects, and that in periphery countries the risk of debt default is being increased by current defensive policy settings. The second finding is that the policy of financing budget deficits by printing new money is likely to be more effective (than “quantitative easing” and current Eurozone policy) in raising demand, output and employment without adding unnecessarily to already high levels of public debt.

Practical implications

There are very substantial practical policy implications, involving a potential change of monetary policy strategies for two of the world's largest economies and for Eurozone periphery countries. Post‐earthquake reconstruction in Japan could be financed in the manner recommended in this paper.


The originality/value lies in demonstrating that current monetary policy orthodoxy is misplaced, and that an alternative policy strategy has been overlooked and is likely to be more effective.



Wood, R. (2012), "Delivering economic stimulus, addressing rising public debt and avoiding inflation", Journal of Financial Economic Policy, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 4-24.

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Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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