The Surprising Lessons Of QE

On Oct. 29, the Federal Reserve announced the official end to its bond-buying program, otherwise known as quantitative easing (QE).

Given all the debate about the efficacy of the Fed’s policy decisions, and the stomach acid created by the many dire forecasts about what was going to happen when quantitative easing ended, I thought it worthwhile to review the historical record and determine if there are any investment lessons to be learned.

Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, the Fed held between $700 billion and $800 billion in Treasury notes on its balance sheet. In late November 2008, the Fed began its QE program, announcing it would buy $600 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

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