QE has been the right thing to do. Despite the sluggish recovery, things could be far worse. But it has probably increased inequality, which lumps the government with a future bill – if you believe that inequality is something that comes with real social costs, upon which there is fairly broad agreement.
I have fun imagining what Darling might have said a year ago:
So today I announce steps that will shore up the profits of banks everywhere – whether taxpayer-owned or not, foreign or domestic. We will make borrowing so cheap that a trained ape could mint billions. Yes, this will mean massive bonuses for the undeserving . . . But, Mr Speaker, this is not enough. Indebted homeowners need a break, or they risk dragging us down with them. So today we announce steps that will reverse the fall in house prices and lower the cost of the mortgages. If you own a big London house, I promise to you that the government is listening. You are at the front of the queue.