Five years ago last week, the Bank of England cut its main interest rate to 0.5%, the lowest level in its 320-year history. It also embarked on its quantitative-easing (QE) programme, using printed money to buy government bonds. The aim was to inject money into household and company bank accounts, which it hoped would stimulate economic activity. In total, the bank bought £375bn worth of bonds.
In December 2008, the US Federal Reserve had already started the first of what would turn out to be three phases [...]
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