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Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2)


Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) refers to the second round of a monetary policy strategy implemented by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the U.S. economy. Launched in November 2010, QE2 involved the central bank purchasing long-term U.S. Treasury securities to lower long-term interest rates and increase money supply. This policy aimed to encourage borrowing, spending, and investment to drive economic growth and reduce unemployment.


Phonetics for Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2): kwɒntɪtətɪv iziŋ tu (kjuː iː tu)

Key Takeaways

  1. Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) was a monetary policy initiated by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the U.S. economy after the global financial crisis in 2008. It involved the large-scale purchase of government bonds and mortgage-backed securities to increase the money supply and reduce long-term interest rates.
  2. QE2 was launched in November 2010, and over the course of eight months, the Federal Reserve purchased a total of $600 billion in government bonds. This, in turn, lowered borrowing costs and encouraged investments and spending, aiding in the recovery of the economy from recession.
  3. Although QE2 had its intended effects on the financial markets and contributed to the economic recovery, it also generated some controversy and criticism. Critics argue that it may have elevated the risk of inflation, contributed to asset price bubbles (particularly in the stock market), and disproportionately benefited wealthier individuals who held large amounts of financial assets.


Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) is important because it represents the second round of the unconventional monetary policy implemented by the Federal Reserve in response to the 2008 financial crisis. QE2 aimed to stimulate the economy, stabilize financial markets, and combat deflation by purchasing long-term government securities, which increased the money supply and lowered interest rates. This encouraged lending and investment, supporting job creation and economic growth. However, it also brought potential risks such as inflation, asset bubbles, and currency devaluation. Due to its significant impact on various aspects of the economy, QE2 remains a crucial subject for business and finance professionals to understand.


Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) is a monetary policy tool employed by central banks to stimulate economic growth and combat deflationary pressures. This strategy aims to increase the supply of money available in the financial system and facilitate lending, by purchasing long-term government bonds and other financial assets. The primary purpose of Quantitative Easing 2 is to lower long-term interest rates, making borrowing more attractive to businesses and consumers, and ultimately boosting investment, consumption, and overall economic activity. While a conventional monetary policy tool would involve central banks adjusting short-term interest rates, in situations when those rates are already low or near zero, further reductions have limited effectiveness. QE2, in contrast, focuses on buying assets to inject more money into the economy and encourage banks to lend more, which helps to revitalize the financial market and sustain economic recovery. The secondary effect of this strategy is also to lower the exchange rate, which can spur external demand by making exports relatively more affordable and imports more expensive for domestic consumers. As a result, Quantitative Easing 2 plays an essential role in fostering the conditions needed for a stable and growing economy by addressing sluggish growth and working to avoid potential harmful deflationary spirals.


Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2) refers to the second round of quantitative easing implemented by central banks to stimulate economic growth by purchasing government bonds or other financial assets to inject money into the economy. Here are three real-world examples of QE2: 1. United States – Federal Reserve (2010-2011): In November 2010, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a second round of quantitative easing measures, known as QE2, aiming to stimulate the economy during the post-financial crisis recession. The Fed purchased $600 billion in long-term U.S. Treasury securities between November 2010 and June 2011. This action helped lower long-term interest rates, encourage borrowing and spending, and stabilize the financial markets. 2. European Central Bank (ECB) – Eurozone (2014-2015): In response to the European debt crisis and sluggish growth, the European Central Bank launched its second round of quantitative easing efforts in 2014. The ECB began purchasing covered bonds and asset-backed securities from eurozone banks. In January 2015, the ECB expanded the program to include sovereign bonds or government bonds, with a total expected purchase of €1.1 trillion by the end of 2016. This extensive QE program was instrumental in stimulating the Eurozone economy and helping combat deflationary pressures. 3. Bank of England – United Kingdom (2011): In October 2011, the Bank of England initiated its second round of quantitative easing measures (QE2) to ease the impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the UK economy. The central bank committed to purchasing £75 billion in government bonds (gilts) to inject liquidity into the financial system. By doing so, the Bank of England sought to lower long-term interest rates and encourage lending and investment, ultimately aiming to foster economic growth in the country.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Quantitative Easing 2 (QE2)?
Quantitative Easing 2, also known as QE2, is the second round of a monetary policy implemented by the Federal Reserve, in which the central bank purchases government bonds, securities, and other financial assets to increase the money supply, lowering interest rates, and stimulating economic growth.
When was QE2 implemented?
The QE2 was implemented by the Federal Reserve in November 2010, following the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, with the purpose of supporting economic recovery in the United States.
How much money was allocated for QE2?
The Federal Reserve announced that it would purchase $600 billion worth of long-term Treasury securities, at a pace of around $75 billion per month, which continued until June 2011.
What was the primary objective of QE2?
The primary objective of QE2 was to lower interest rates, encourage lending and investment, and stimulate economic growth in an effort to combat the high unemployment and economic stagnation experienced during that time.
How does QE2 differ from the first round of Quantitative Easing (QE1)?
QE1 was implemented in December 2008 as a response to the financial crisis and focused on purchasing mortgage-backed securities, whereas QE2 focused on purchasing long-term Treasury securities to further assist in economic recovery.
What is the impact of QE2 on inflation?
The impact of QE2 on inflation is a subject of debate among economists. Some argue that the increase in money supply could eventually lead to higher inflation, while others believe that in a weak economic environment with high unemployment, the risk of inflation remains low.
Were there any criticisms of QE2?
Yes, QE2 faced several criticisms, with some arguing that it could lead to high inflation, increased financial market instability, and even currency wars as countries devalue their currencies to maintain competitiveness. Additionally, some critics believe that QE2 did not address the fundamental issues behind the economic slowdown, such as high levels of debt and structural economic problems.
What happened after QE2?
Following the completion of QE2 in 2011, the Federal Reserve implemented a third round of Quantitative Easing, known as QE3, in September 2012, which continued until October 2014. This program involved purchasing a mix of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities.

Related Finance Terms

  • Central Bank Asset Purchases
  • Monetary Policy
  • Government Bonds
  • Injecting Liquidity
  • Inflation Targeting

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