QE4 is Happening… Really

December 12, 2012

Just when you thought the Federal Reserve couldn’t inflict any more damage to the U.S. economy…

Today, the FOMC announced yet another round of quantitative easing (i.e. money printing). This new round, which is officially QE4, will begin after Operation Twist ends in 2013. So, how much money will the Fed pump in to the U.S. economy this time around?

Here’s the breakdown:

  • The Fed will begin purchasing $45 billion per month of U.S. Treasury bonds after Operation Twist expires in early 2013. (Mr. Bernanke explained that $45 billion per month was the “initial amount.” It is likely that this number will grow in the future.)
  • The Fed will maintain its ongoing QE3 program at a level of $40 billion a month in purchases of mortgage backed securities. (This means that beginning in January 2013, the Fed will be creating a total of $85 billion in new money each and every month — or $1 trillion per year.)

To address the question of how long this new round of monetary policy will last, the Fed announced two new targets: a 6.5% unemployment rate and a 2.5% inflation rate. Through these two explicit targets the Fed has confirmed that its aggressive monetary policy and zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) will continue until the official unemployment rate is lower than 6.5% and as long as 24 month projected inflation rates remain below 2.5%.

You can read all of the gory details here.

You can also watch the Federal Reserve press conference in its entirety below.

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