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Quantative Easing? Daylight Robbery

The official justification for the Bank of England’s money-printing policy is that inspite of savers being impoverished, it is a price worth paying to rescue the economy. No mention of the redistribution of wealth from savers (you and me) to borrowers (banks, governments, other spivs).

So a price worth paying? These benefits which it has given us must be worthwhile. There is some measurable amount, some figure which is going to knock our socks off. Across the pond in the US, a new study has been released by senior economists. So ladies and gentlemen, I give you (cue drum roll, fanfare, firework display of Olympic opening ceremony proportions), the results of the latest study. Quantative Easing has boosted economic output by… 0.04%

Ah, that’s a typo, you mean 400%. No, right first time. 0.04%.

To put this into perspective, Vasco Curdia (Senior Economist – San Francisco Federal Reserve Service) and Andrea Ferrero (same job, New York branch) said that merely telling the markets that interest rates would remain low boosted that same output by 0.09%. Mark Carney at the BoE clearly learned this and did the same thing in his recent forward-looking statement.

Those experts did not of course calculate the figures for the British economy but it is fair to assume the story would be similar. If so, the huge amount of pain suffered by savers and pensioners at the hands of QE has been for nothing.

Annuity rates have fallen to record lows. Inflation is eating away at fixed incomes. Keeping interest rates at 0.5% has taken its toll. A scheme designed to encourage banks to lend called (unimaginatively) Funding for Lending, has taken away banks incentive to offer decent interest rates to savers. Banks can raise anything they need from the BoE at bargain basement rates.

Funding for Lending is not all bad. It was intended to boost the availability of cheap mortgages and judging by the upswing in the housing market, it has succeeded on that front.

Shame the same cannot be said for Quantative Easing.

What next? Money is worthless, so invest in Gold as a wealth preservation tool.

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