In the wake of a global stock market sell-off triggered by economic turmoil in China, the U.S. Federal Reserve recently decided to postpone raising interest rates. Indeed, China is facing the huge challenge of dealing with the risk of a global debt-deflation trap.

In 1933, Irving Fisher was the first to identify the dangers of over-indebtedness and deflation, demonstrating their contribution to the Great Depression in the United States.

Forty years later, Charles Kindleberger applied the theory in a global context, emphasizing the problems that arise in a world lacking coordinated and consistent monetary, fiscal, and regulatory policies, as well as an international lender of last resort.