Kicking quantitative easing metaphors

Last week’s “Goldilocks job report” and its mostly-unchanged 6.7 unemployment rate means that the Federal Reserve is unlikely to end quantitative easing, its bond buyback program, anytime soon.

Also unlikely to end soon: journalists’ and talking heads’ repeated comparisons of QE to drug addiction.

Financial Post: “Monetary morphine.” Barry Sternlicht, chief executive of the Starwood Capital Group: “Heroin addiction.” The Guardian: “Drug habit.” USA Today: “Fed steroids.” The Street: “The drug the market craves.” Peter Schiff, chief executive of Euro Pacific Capital: “Keeping a drug addict high.” BBC: “Miracle cure or dangerous addiction?” Forbes: “The Federal Reserve is now badly hooked.”

Yes: Quantitative easing is a controversial, unproven program with unclear costs and benefits initiated during the Great Recession’s darkest days.

But is it any more addictive than a tired metaphor?

Justin Moyer is the deputy editor of the Morning Mix.
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