(1) Technically speaking, many nations are not in depression, but have positive real GDP growth. What is happening is high unemployment, low growth, and economic malaise caused by deleveraging and an over-indebted private sector. This is more akin to Japan’s lost decade (as Keen later says). Serious austerity will cause a relapse into recession or perhaps even depression.
(2) I think Keen is wrong is say that Japan’s lost decade lasted “two decades.” The return to essentially average real GDP growth rates in Japan more or less in line with OECD averages happened from 2002–2003 (although admittedly positive credit growth did not return until 2006), as deleveraging ended (especially by corporations). Without radical action, private deleveraging in the West will probably keep going until 2020 or even beyond that.
(3) For analysis of 1930’s Germany, see here:
See here for some interesting remarks by Bill Mitchell on Japan’s lost decade:
Bill Mitchell points out that the turn to austerity in Japan in 1996–1997 under Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto caused a severe recession that lasted from June quarter 1997 until the September quarter 1999, prolonging the lost decade.