Policy Forum

Quantitative Easing: A Requiem

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Date and Time
March 1, 2016 5 - 6:30 PM EST
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Daniel L. Thornton, Former Vice President and Economic Adviser, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Joseph E. Gagnon, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; and Scott Sumner, Ralph G. Hawtrey Chair of Monetary Policy, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; moderated by George Selgin, Director, Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives, Cato Institute.

In an effort to combat the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve embarked on an unprecedented program of quantitative easing (QE) — the large‐​scale purchase of financial assets using freshly created money. The idea was to lower interest rates, encourage spending and investment, and thereby boost growth and jobs. By late 2014, the Fed had added more than $3.5 trillion to its books — effectively quintupling the size of its balance sheet. But did it work? Did QE boost growth and jobs? Did it save the American economy from the abyss? Or did it merely sow the seeds of the next crisis? Join us as our expert panel debates one of the defining monetary policy issues of our time — the legacy of QE.