End of easing may hit hard

The dramatic market reaction to the Fed chairman's hint that he may put a stop to quantitative easing demonstrates just how important it has become, writes Jon Ihle.

29th June, 2013
Ben Bernanke, chairman, Federal Reserve: could start curtailing its $85 billion monthly bond-buying at the end of this year. Photo: Bloomberg

It only took the slightest nudge from Ben Bernanke to shift the prevailing mood in the market this month.

The Federal Reserve chairman, who has led an aggressive four-year programme of quantitative easing (QE) to drive up asset prices and kick-start the American economy, said the US central bank could start gradually curtailing its $85 billion monthly bond-buying at the end of this year and stop altogether around the middle of 2014. If executed, that...

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