Quantitative easing (QE) has upended the world of central banking since the US Federal Reserve (Fed) implemented its first QE program during the global financial crisis. Since 2020, major central banks have pumped over $11 trillion into the global economy in response to COVID-19 alone. With inflation rising to levels not seen in 30 years, central banks face the difficult balancing act of unwinding massive asset purchases and simultaneously raising interest rates, all without disrupting economic growth.
Scroll to explore the QE tracker, our in-depth look at the world’s most important central banks, and an explainer on how QE works.
The Big 4 Central Banks
The Key EM Central Banks
Explainer: How quantitative easing works
When a central bank uses quantitative easing, it purchases large quantities of assets一such as government bonds一to lower borrowing costs, boost spending, support economic growth, and ultimately increase inflation.
“The problem with quantitative easing is that it works in practice, but it doesn’t work in theory.”
– former Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke, 2014
Source: European Central Bank
Research Team: Ole Moehr, Naomi Aladekoba, Mrugank Bhusari, Nitya Biyani, Sophia Busch, Fiona Muhleisen, and Stefan de Villiers
Contributions from: Will Bonney, Ekta Deshmukh, Amanda Dickerson, Niels Graham, William Howlett, and Amy Jeon
EconoGraphics May 9, 2022
Deploying QT – The Fed readies its new tool to fight inflation
By Ole Moehr
June 1 onwards, the Fed will begin to reduce the size of its balance sheet, i.e., conduct quantitative tightening. But how does QT work, what are its goals, and are there potential risks of the policy?
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