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QE and the 0.2%

QE and the 0.2%
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Early support of the Fed´s QE programs, Andrew Huszar, has just come around and recognized what some of us have known for a long time. Quantitative easing has done nothing to help Main Street and has become “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”

The Fed´s bond buying program was supposed to increase the availability of credit to ailing businesses and consumers, but as of last year mortgage lending was at a 15-year low. Huszar notes that the buoyant American stock market is a large recipient of QE liquidity, but 50% of Americans don´t own stocks.

Not only has the program worsened the too-big-to-fail problem endemic at the start of the crisis, but it has actually worsened it.

“By virtue of reflating the markets, we’ve potentially taken the emphasis out of breaking up what is ultimately a banking cartel in the United States,” Huszar said, adding that “0.2 percent of banks control 70 percent of assets in this country.”

It was bad enough when people found out during the Occupy Wall Street protest that about 1% of Americans own one-third of wealth in the United States. What will the ire look like when they discover that the Fed has enabled 0.2% of banks in the country to own 70% of its assets?

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David Howden is Chair of the Department of Business and Economics, and professor of economics at St. Louis University, at its Madrid Campus, Academic Vice President of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, and winner of the Mises Institute's Douglas E. French Prize. Send him mail.

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