"There is something else beyond the necessary mechanics and timely action that is at stake. The credibility of the Federal Reserve, its commitment to maintain price stability and its ability to stand up against pressing and partisan political pressures is critical. Independence can't just be a slogan."
"Officials say they plan to reduce the amount of bonds they buy in careful and potentially halting steps, varying their purchases as their confidence about the job market and inflation evolves. The start time has yet to be determined," wrote the WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath.
"My view is the sooner we come to grips with this excessive level of assets on the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve, which everyone agrees is excessive, the better," he said. "I think a gradual withdrawal from QE is adequate, but we've got to get moving. I think we've got to do it even if we don't think the economy it is strong enough."
"A government unable to reduce its debt will be on the lookout for cheap ways to fund its profligacy. Financial repression is one way of doing so," according to HSBC Chief Economist Stephen King. "Quantitative easing pushes down bond yields – even when fiscal policy is out of control. It allows governments to avoid being punished by markets for lack of fiscal discipline. Repression allows governments to delay austerity and to fund excessive borrowing at very low cost. Seen this way, repression is not so much a mechanism designed to reduce government debt but, rather, a way to live with it."