Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Easing Up the Fed Ends Its Controversial Bond-Buy Program

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Easing Up the Fed Ends Its Controversial Bond-Buy Program

Article excerpt

The end of quantitative easing announced by the Federal Reserve Bank Wednesday has prompted discussion of its efficacy in improving the American economy.

One question posed by critics is whether it was quantitative easing or, instead, qualitative stiffing in terms of how it affected the lives of Americans and the financial state of the U.S. government. By purchasing Treasury bonds from American banks, the program put as much as $4 trillion into the hands of financial institutions over six years.

But instead of accomplishing the policy's mission of stimulating lending to businesses and easing the plight of homeowners damaged by the real estate market, it enabled many banks to pile up big balances and profits. This happened while banks took care of their senior executives, paying them millions, and assured that their stockholders received generous dividends.

Meanwhile, defenders of quantitative easing maintain that it helped to sustain one of the longest bull markets in U. …

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