Quantitative Easing 2 – QE2

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DEFINITION of 'Quantitative Easing 2 – QE2'

The second round of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy used to stimulate the U.S. economy following the recession that began in 2007/08. QE2 was initiated in the fourth quarter of 2010 in order to jump-start the sluggish economic recovery. The Federal Reserve announced plans to buy $600 billion in long-term Treasuries, in addition to the reinvestment of an additional $250 billion to $300 billion in Treasuries from earlier proceeds from mortgage-backed securities. This, in theory, would push yields on Treasuries and bonds down, creating a surge in investment and consumption expenditures.

BREAKING DOWN 'Quantitative Easing 2 – QE2'

Quantitative easing was intended to stimulate an economy through a central bank's purchase of government bonds or other financial assets. Often, central banks use quantitative easing when interest rates are already zero bound, or at near 0% levels. This type of monetary policy increases the money supply and typically raises the risk of inflation. Quantitative easing is not specific to the U.S., however, and is used in a variety of forms by other major central banks.