We finally know that a third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, is here, but it has left investors asking what it means long-term for the markets and the economy.
First, let's look at what QE3 is meant to do.
QE3 is meant to encourage economic growth and improve the U.S. employment picture.
On Sept. 7, the Department of Labor reported that only 96,000 jobs were created in August. Not only was that far below expectations, it was well under the 141,000 increase from July.
In addition, the underlying foundation is even weaker as income is down and more Americans are leaving the labor force. Of the jobs that are being created, most are poorly paying ones in the service sector.
From that, economic growth for the United States slowed to 1.7% in the second quarter, down from 4.1% in the final three months of last year.
This new QE3 - or QE Forever, since it has no expiration date - is the most intense program initiated by the Fed to goose the economy since the crisis.
Noted Julia Coronado, the head economist for North America at BNP Paribas and former Fed economist, "This is definitely a significant shift in FOMC policy. This is a very aggressive commitment to success on its mandates."
Here's what QE3 means for the markets and the U.S. economy.