Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Why Quantitative Easing Did Not Work According to the Textbook Model

The Fed has declared an official end to quantitative easing. It is a logical time to ask, did QE work? gives the honest answer in a recent post on Vox: “It’s very, very hard to know.”
Danielle Kurtzleben
Still, we do know three things that QE did not do. These are worth pointing out, especially since back when QE was just getting under way, there were people who expected that QE 2 would do all of them.

1. QE did not work according to the textbook model
One thing was never in doubt.  As the Fed added massively to its assets, QE would cause an equally massive increase in the monetary base—the sum of bank reserves and currency that accounts for the bulk of its liabilities.

Some economists used to refer to the base as high powered money. It got that name from a familiar textbook model, according to which two simple ratios link the monetary base to the rest of the economy. One is the money multiplier, which is the ratio of ordinary money (M2) to the monetary base. The other is the ratio of nominal GDP to the M2 money stock, known as the velocity of circulation of money, or just velocity, for short.

If the money multiplier and velocity were constants, then the monetary base would be high-powered indeed. Any increase in the base (which the Fed can manipulate at will) would cause a proportional increase in nominal GDP. The only thing left to determine would be how much of the change in nominal GDP would express itself as an increase in real output and how much as inflation.>>>Read more

Follow this link to view or download the slideshow "Quantitative Easing and the Fed 2008-2014: A Tutorial"

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