The US Federal Reserve and the European Union’s central bank recently announced plans to inject massive liquidity into their respective money markets. However, the Fed denies that its buying is another quantitative easing program while the ECB admits that it is.
The Fed will start buying $60 billion dollars a month on October 15 in T-bills and will do so “until at least the 2nd quarter of 2020.” The ECB will start in November and buy €20 billion in bonds a month. Additionally, the ECB plans to cut interest rates further into negative territory.
Although the ECB’s decision to lower interest rates to minus 0.5% was widely supported by the governing council, heads of the CBs of more than half of the eurozone population and GDP said that they opposed another round of QE.
Yet Mario Draghi, whose term as president of the ECB ends October 30, said after the meeting that there was such a “clear majority” in favor of the more QE that they did not need to vote. I guess as president of the ECB he has that authority. That is, not to have a vote but to declare his position as being the “clear majority.”
The Fed’s decision to start injecting $60 billion a month into the money markets comes immediately after its cessation of its monthly $50 billion reduction in its balance sheet. The Fed reduces its balance sheet by selling bonds. Now it’s buying bonds at an even greater rate.
The Fed’s move was foreshadowed. In the last few weeks, it injected some $400 billion into the market via repo agreements. With a Fed repo, the borrower puts up suitable collateral – probably T-bills – and get freshly printed cash from the Fed. Repos are generally of short duration, sometimes overnight, or six days, or up to two weeks.
Paper money not redeemable in gold (or silver) eventually is printed until it is worthless. The dollar and the euro are headed down that path. There is just no way of knowing how long it will take for them to become worthless, but we are way past the chances of a reversal.