True Confessions of a Quantitative Easing Kind

There is an amazing, astounding op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.  A Federal Reserve employee involved with the $1.25 trillion in mortgage backed securities purchased back in 2009 has confessed.  He spills the beans on how quantitative easing has made the super rich even richer while doing almost nothing for main street.  Here's an excerpt:

I can only say: I'm sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed's first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.

The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank's bond purchases had been an absolute coup for Wall Street. The banks hadn't just benefited from the lower cost of making loans.

Where are we today? The Fed keeps buying roughly $85 billion in bonds a month, chronically delaying so much as a minor QE taper. Over five years, its bond purchases have come to more than $4 trillion. Amazingly, in a supposedly free-market nation, QE has become the largest financial-markets intervention by any government in world history.

And the impact? Even by the Fed's sunniest calculations, aggressive QE over five years has generated only a few percentage points of U.S. growth. By contrast, experts outside the Fed, such as Mohammed El Erian at the Pimco investment firm, suggest that the Fed may have created and spent over $4 trillion for a total return of as little as 0.25% of GDP (i.e., a mere $40 billion bump in U.S. economic output). Both of those estimates indicate that QE isn't really working.

This op-ed will wake you up.  Unfortunately buying toxic mortgages has gone on so long, we're all used to it and stopped challenging the results, or lack thereof.  Hopefully this op-ed wakes the Fed up from the quantitative easing hypnotic dream.