Against this, Japan's economic policy revolution seems tame. Yet forces are being unleashed that could have powerful effects through the world's asset markets and trading system.
Premier Shinzo Abe has vowed an all-out assault on deflation, going for broke on multiple fronts with fiscal, monetary, and exchange stimulus.
This is a near copy of the remarkable experiment in the early 1930s under Korekiyo Takahasi, described by Ben Bernanke as the man who "brilliantly rescued" his country from the Great Depression.
Takahasi was the first of his era to tear up rule book completely. He took Japan off gold in December 1931. He ran "Keynesian" budget deficits deliberately, launching a New Deal blitz before Franklin Roosevelt took office.
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