We predicted last week that Bernanke would launch QE3 this week.
Today, the Fed announced that it will buy $40 billion dollars of mortgage-backed securities per month … indefinitely.
This is just another bailout for the big banks. (If the government had instead given money directly to the consumer, we would be out of this economic slump by now).
Bernanke claims that the main justification for QE3 is to boost employment. This is slightly ironic, since Bernanke’s policies are largely responsible for creating high unemployment in the first place.
The real justification is to try to artificially prop up asset prices. But that approach has been proven to be an absolute failure.
This is in addition to numerous other easing programs. As CNBC notes:
In addition, the Fed said it will continue its program of selling shorter-dated government debt and buying longer-term securities, a mechanism known as Operation Twist. It also will continue its policy of reinvesting principal payments from agency debt and mortgage-backed securities back into mortgages.
“These actions, which together will increase the Committee’s holdings of longer-term securities by about $85 billion each month through the end of the year, should put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative,” the Fed statement said.
And the Fed isn’t stopping there:
“There’s strong hints that they’ll do Treasurys next,” Joe LaVorgna, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Advisors, said in a phone interview from London. “They’re pulling out all the stops to try to get this economy to gain some traction and, most important, to get unemployment down.”
This sounds nice … except that the experts say that quantitative easing destroys the economy and – despite the initial optics of it – hurts the little guy.