Question: What is “quantitative easing” and why might it be a problem in the decades to come?
Matt Taibbi: Quantitative easing is a completely lunatic program that is interestingly, not very well known here in America. Remember when Barack Obama had his 800-billion-dollar stimulus package, which was ostensibly intended to create jobs there was uproar all across the country that is this is socialism and how could we do this, just the government giving money away. Well that was actually real money that existed, that 800 billion dollars that they spent ostensibly creating jobs. Quantitative easing was a program where the Federal Reserve did like an “I Dream of Jeanie”-thing and like invented out of thin air now two trillion dollars essentially to buy T-bills and mortgage-backed securities and artificially prop-up Wall Street. And this is money that didn’t even exist and they simply were pumping it into the financial bloodstream, so that Wall Street could stay alive a little bit longer. It’s a completely insane program. There is a reason why you can’t just print money and get yourself out of economic trouble that way. There is a tremendous inflationary danger here, but they’re doing it anyway, which speaks to the total desperation and craziness of our current economy.
Recorded on November 22, 2010
Interviewed by Andrew Dermont
Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd