While household debt is a constant concern for family budgets, a fierce public debate about our national debt has broken out amongst economists around the world in the years since the GFC. On the one side we have Paul Krugman and other big-spending Keynsians arguing that fiscal stimulus is the best way to get back to the holy grail of growth. On the other ’austerity’ economists argue that budget deficits demand harsh spending cuts. Is one side right, or could it be that both are just choosing the ideological position that best suits their interests?
It’s been six years since the crisis, and debt and deficit are still at the centre of most recent election campaigns. With no public convergence of ideologies in sight, join our panel of economic partisans from both sides of politics to examine national debt and whether it actually matters or whether we should just forget about it.
Chair: Jessica Irvine is national economics editor of News Corp Australia’s metro dailies, including the Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Courier Mail and The Advertiser. She is a former columnist with The Sydney Morning Herald and author of Zombies, bananas, and why there are no economists in heaven.
Stephen Koukoulas is a former Senior Economics Advisor to former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He was also head of global research for TD Securities in London and has spent time at Commonwealth Treasury and as Chief Economist of Citibank Australia. Stephen is currently Managing Director of Market Economics Pty Ltd.
Judith Sloan is contributing economics editor to The Australian. She has held numerous commercial directorships, and has served as a commissioner on the Productivity Commission, deputy chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and Commissioner of the Australian