About the campaign
The current Quantitative Easing program of the European Central Bank is an ineffective and unfair response to the financial crisis. We, civil society organisations from all across Europe, propose an alternative form of QE which would make sure money is spent into the real economy and benefits those that need it the most. We call this concept “Quantitative Easing for People”.
Update 01/03/2018: After three years of activity, the QE for People campaign is transforming itself into Positive Money Europe, an organisation whose mission is to make monetary policy and the banking system support a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Read more about it here.
What is Quantitative Easing?
In March 2015 the European Central Bank (ECB) started a Quantitative Easing program. The program involves creating €60 billion each month. The ECB uses this newly created money to buy government bonds and other financial assets, mostly from the private sector. The program is planned to continue at least until March 2016, after which it will have created a total of €1.6 trillion. Quantitative Easing works by pushing money into the financial markets, in the hope that some of the new money will ‘trickle down’ to the real, non-financial economy, through extra spending by the wealthy, or through money creation by private banks – when they make loans.
Current QE is ineffective, unfair and risky
In reality, QE is unlikely to boost employment or make a difference to the lives of most Europeans. The policy has already been carried out on a large scale in the UK and US with very limited results. In the UK, the Bank of England created £375bn, equivalent to half of the UK government's yearly budget. This money was used to flood the financial markets, and by the Bank of England’s own estimates, pushed up share and bond prices by around 20%. Since 40% of the stock market wealth is held by the richest 5% of households, QE has made those households better off by an average of £128,000 each. Whilst QE is effective at increasing inequality, the evidence is that it has done very little to create jobs and increase economic growth. Making the wealthy even wealthier does not make them spend more, while most people and companies cannot take out more loans from banks. In fact, the ECB’s QE is helping fuel a new financial bubble, laying the foundation for another financial crisis.
We need an alternative QE that benefits people
With over 18 million people currently unemployed, and youth unemployment over 40% in Spain, Greece and Italy, the Eurozone does not need QE for the financial sector. It needs money to be injected directly into the real economy instead, so it can improve people’s lives by boosting employment and spending. A number of economists have argued for this “Quantitative Easing for People.” There are a range of concrete proposals for how QE for People (QEP) could be implemented. The money currently being created by the European Central Bank should be given directly to Eurozone citizens and/or spent on much needed public investment such as green infrastructure, affordable housing – or in any other way which would contribute to the genuine development of the real economy.
The current QE programme is failing. At the same time, poverty and inequality is on the rise. We, as civil society organisations from all across Europe, believe we urgently need to re-think this approach and turn this wasted opportunity into a program that delivers a sustainable recovery in the Eurozone. We are not proposing one single approach. Rather, we aim to foster a public debate around Quantitative Easing for People, arguing that the money created through QE should be spent into the real economy so that it can benefit individuals and society as a whole. This is why we are coming together to run this campaign. We aim to:
• Build a strong, growing, and connected public campaign that works together to advocate QE for people
• Develop the economic case for QE for the people by encouraging more research and foster a broad debate about it
• Influence policymakers that QE for people is possible and necessary.The Campaign Coalition Join the Campaign