28 September 2021

2020/21 Rybczynski Prize Essay

Henry Curr, Economics Editor, The Economist

Has there ever been an economic policy both as commonplace and as poorly understood as quantitative easing (QE)? By the end of 2021 central banks in the rich world will have grown their balance-sheets by almost $12trn during the pandemic, projects JPMorgan Chase. Their combined size will be $28trn—about three-quarters of the market capitalisation of the S&P 500 index of stocks today. Yet despite the massive scale of QE there remain
deep divisions over the nature and magnitude of its impact.

Read Money printers go grr: three myths and three uncomfortable truths about quantitative easing.