Fed Stimulus' 'Quarterback': It Was a 'Feast for Wall St.'

Former official in charge of first round says it's going to backfire
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2013 12:23 PM CST
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens during a panel discussion at the International Monetary Fund in Washington on Nov. 8, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(Newser) – The Fed's stimulus program known as quantitative easing is a misguided mess bound to backfire that ended up being "a feast for Wall Street" instead of doing anything for Main Street. So writes Andrew Huszar at the Wall Street Journal, but his perspective on QE is unique among critics of the policy. Huszar was actually the Fed official in charge of buying up all those bonds in the first round of QE five years ago. In other words, he was "quarterback" for "the largest economic stimulus in US history."

Huszar has since left the Fed, but subsequent rounds of QE have scooped up a staggering $4 trillion worth of bonds since 2009, making it "the largest financial-markets intervention by any government in world history." The problem is that "QE isn't really working," writes Huszar. Growth has been puny, and banks have been stingy with loans to consumers. Worse, QE has "killed the urgency for Washington to confront a real crisis: that of a structurally unsound US economy." But don't expect it to disappear anytime soon because QE itself is now "too big to fail." Click for Huszar's full column. (Read more Federal Reserve stories.)

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