Is the world still at risk of the “Japan disease”?

This question was posed by the editors of The International Economy to a symposium of over thirty analysts, including William White. White responded that the world will likely languish in “an extended low growth funk” unless the problem of ever growing public and private sector debt is adequately addressed. The “headwinds” of debt were already exerting an undesirable influence on the global economy prior to the pandemic, and the policy response (however necessary, short term)¬† has made this underlying problem worse. White suggests that, absent any credible alternative policies, cooperative agreements between debtors and creditors to restructure debts might be the least costly and least risky solution.