Tags: Andrew Huszar | Fed | easing | policy

Former Fed Official: QE Is 'Backdoor Wall Street Bailout'

By Dan Weil   |   Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 07:03 PM

Andrew Huszar, who managed the beginning of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program in 2009 and 2010, has two things to say.

First, "I'm sorry, America," he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

Second, the program is a failure.

"The central bank continues to spin QE [quantitative easing] as a tool for helping Main Street," says Huszar, now a senior fellow at Rutgers Business School. "But I've come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time."

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QE has turned into the largest financial market intervention by any central bank in history, he says. And all the Fed has to show for this is a modest addition to economic growth.

"QE isn't really working, unless you're Wall Street," he adds. Thanks to government subsidies, banks have seen their share prices as a whole triple since March 2009.

"As for the rest of America, good luck," Huszar quips.

"The Fed is at the center of [Washington's] dysfunction," he explains. "Case in point: It has allowed QE to become Wall Street's new 'too big to fail' policy."

To be sure, Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian says last week's strong economic and jobs data are evidence that Fed policy may work.

The government reported last week that GDP expanded 2.8 percent in the third quarter and that the economy gained 204,000 jobs in October.

"The combination of [these statistics] has been a lot more supportive of the Fed's policy bet," El-Erian writes in Fortune.

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