Investors Are Thwarting the Bank of England's Latest QE Scheme

by George Pickering

Last week it emerged that, for the second time in two weeks, the Bank of England has been unable to buy back enough government bonds to achieve its target. The attempted bond buyback was part of the Bank’s post-Brexit emergency strategy, in which it hoped to execute £60 billion of new quantitative easing (QE) by re-purchasing UK Treasury gilts from private businesses. However, two weeks ago the Bank was forced to reveal that, for the first time in its history, it would be unable to complete its bond buyback, as businesses were unwilling to part with their gilts at what the bank construed to be the market rate. While the Bank attempted to dismiss this problem by promising to make up for the £52 million shortfall in six months time, the fact that it has run into the same roadblock yet again, a mere two weeks later, will make this promise appear far more tenuous.

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