Quantitative tightening

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Quantitative tightening (QT) (or quantitative hardening) is a contractionary monetary policy applied by a central bank to decrease the amount of liquidity within the economy. The policy is the reverse of quantitative easing (QE) aimed to increase money supply in order to "stimulate" the economy.[1][2] The QE policy was massively applied by leading central banks to counter the Great Recession that started in 2008.[2] The prime rates were decreased to zero; some rates later went into the negative territory. For example, to fight with ultra-low inflation or deflation caused by the economic crisis, the European Central Bank, overseeing monetary policy for countries that use the euro, introduced negative rates in 2014. The central banks of Japan, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland also set negative rates.[3]

The main goal of QT is to normalise (i.e. raise) interest rates in order to avoid increasing inflation as it becomes expensive to access money and reduces demand for goods and services in the economy. Like QE before it, QT has never been done before on a massive scale, and its consequences have yet to materialize and be studied.[4] In 2018, the Fed began retiring some of the debt on their balance sheet, beginning quantitative tightening. In 2019, less than a year after initiating QT, central banks, including the Fed, ended quantitative tightening due to negative market conditions occurring soon after. [5]

An effect on asset prices[edit]

Whereas QE caused the substantial rise in asset prices over the past decade, QT may cause broadly offsetting effects in the opposite direction.[6]

A living experiment - Bitcoin[edit]

Bitcoin is a payment network that approaches the direction of QT, while not quite a QT system. There is a fixed supply (~~21 million)[7] of Bitcoin, with an inflationary supply schedule, albeit a decreasing supply[8], in its first one hundred years.[9]

Research points that some Bitcoin are lost (e.g. due to lost keys), thus tilting Bitcoin closer to QT.[10]

Proponents of QE and QE prone systems claim that deflationary spirals are linked to depressions. Decreasing prices in electronics easily disprove the notion that deflationary prices indicate economic depression.[11][unreliable fringe source?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brookes, Marcus (October 18, 2017). "60 seconds explaining quantitative tightening". Schroders. schroders.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Phillips, Matt (30 January 2019). "The Hot Topic in Markets Right Now: ‘Quantitative Tightening’" – via NYTimes.com.
  3. ^ Soble, Jonathan (September 20, 2016). "Japan's Negative Interest Rates Explained". The New York Times. nytimes.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  4. ^ "What Is Quantitative Tightening?". FXCM. fxcm.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Fed Move Ends the Short Era of Global Quantitative Tightening". Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  6. ^ Webb, Merryn Somerset (23 April 2018). "What to do as quantitative easing becomes quantitative tightening". Money Week. moneyweek.com. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  7. ^ Simonite, Tom (May 25, 2011). "What bitcoin is and why it matters". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  8. ^ Svetski, Aleksandar (April 17, 2020). "The bitcoin halvening is more than just about money". Hacker Noon. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  9. ^ "Bitcoin FAQ: Finite amount of Bitcoin, Inflationary Supply, and Deflationary Misconceptions".
  10. ^ "Chainalysis Lost Bitcoin and Money Supply Research".
  11. ^ "Electronics, Deflation & Lack of Depression".

External links[edit]