Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

The Proof That Quantitative Easing Works

The creators of money

The point of quantitative easing was to lower the return on safe assets. That would mean that people interested in an income, in gaining a return on their investments, would have to take on more risk to get one.

This is the whole point of what was done, is being done. OK. So, how would we work out whether this worked? We’d note that there was lots of cash available for risky enterprises as people chased that yield at the cost of that risk.

It might seem odd to the majority of us, who are used to stagnating wages and an increasingly dilapidated public realm, but businesses are actually flooded with cash. Squeezed by years of rock-bottom interest rates, investors have been on a desperate hunt for assets that offer a yield above zero, throwing money at every conceivable candidate.

QE works then. Good, glad we’ve got that settled.

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Bernie G.
Bernie G.
1 year ago

The value of your investments can…as the obligatory caveat emptor goes. I think it was made clear post 2008 that banks didn’t want our money any more, and that derisory interest rates were the future. Carney et al told everyone that if we were looking for some sort of return from our cash, we were to invest in the economy – and this came with risk. Most of us understood this…and never gamble with money we can’t afford to lose.

Spike
Spike
1 year ago

The observation has less to do with interest rates than Trump’s signature reduction of the top business tax rate from 35% to 21%.

During the real Quantitative Easing era, businesses also had plenty of cash, but a lot of it was safely parked in Europe even though that rendered it unavailable for new corporate projects.

Yes, money is now spraying in all directions. Obama’s only role in this was to scold us it would never happen without “a magic wand.”

Michael van der Riet
Michael van der Riet
1 year ago

The point of QE was to change time preference.

Phoenix44
Phoenix44
1 year ago

“It might seem odd to the majority of us, who are used to stagnating wages and an increasingly dilapidated public realm,”

I do so love the way Guardian writers put themselves in with the lumpen proletariat there!

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