Economists say the policy of large-scale money printing by the Reserve Bank is now on the table, and it needs to be discussed more openly.

"The Reserve Bank needs to start preparing the public," United States Studies Centre program director Stephen Kirchner said.

The Sydney University-based centre has been studying the use of money printing in the US, and argues Australia could benefit from the lessons it learned.

The Reserve Bank itself has mentioned the possibility of quantitative easing as an option if cutting interest rates no longer has the desired effects of boosting inflation and economic growth.

So, what is "quantitative easing", or money printing as it is colloquially dubbed?