—Jim Rickards (March 2011)
Quantitative easing is central banker speak for creating currency to buy debt or other assets.
The process of quantitative easing is fairly simple—it involves printing currency and buying assets from banks—but it can take many different forms. Central banks can use Q.E. to buy relatively safe treasury securities, pumping cash into their vaults to stimulate lending; or they can buy assets that have lost value (think mortgage-backed securities) in order to make banks whole and attempt to shore up their balance sheets. Central banks can also target certain maturities of the assets they purchase, to push down the cost of short-term, medium-term, or long-term borrowing.
Ben Bernanke is current Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. He succeeded Alan Greenspan as Chairman in 2006, following his nomination by former President George W. Bush. He is an economist and former professor at Princeton University. Nicknames include "the bernank," and "Helicopter Ben."
Simply put, bonds are debt. Bonds basically say: "I owe you (IOU) X-amount of currency, plus X-amount of interest." —Michael Maloney, Guide to Investing In Gold & Silver. But, there is more to it than that. Bonds set the cost of borrowing, determine international currency flows, and play a huge role in determining the value of each nation’s currency. That means bonds have a direct effect on the dollars, euros, pesos or yuan in your wallet or bank account.