Re: Wait, What?
I promise you that there is a huge difference between QE and money printing. It's a matter of permanence. When they printed the money for QE, they used it to buy mostly government debt. The US Fed and the ECB bought a more varied mix of debt instruments, but it technically doesn't matter.
People get confused here, but we can basically ignore all the loans made to the banks, as they've been paid off. The only debt the UK banks still owe to the state is the RBS shareholding, which is currently worth less than we collectively paid for it. As that bank gets slowly turned around it can hopefully be sold at a profit. So on the bank bailouts the state will make a small paper profit - plus the bigger profit of them not going bust and causing a Depression like the 1930s. Ben Bernanke who was Governor of the Fed in 2008 was fortunately one of the foremost academic experts on the Great Depression, and did the right things not to repeat it.
In QE the Central Banks bought a mixture of bonds that will expire over the next 30 years. With money magicked out of their computers. The people holding that debt were then left with money that they needed to hold in safe assets at low interest rates - and this forced down market interest rates, as people wanting a bit more return on their assets were forced to take slightly more risk in order to get it - which kept the corporate bond markets from collapsing.
The bad side-effect of this was that lots of investment money was pushed out of bonds into shares and also property, causing inflation in their prices. The good desired effect was that the banks didn't go bust and there wasn't a sudden collapse in the ability of companies to borrow, forcing them to sack loads of staff. Thus we got a drop in GDP not too dissimilar from the Great Depression, but without the hideous 20% unemployment levels.
Now the point about QE is that it's ongoing. Every year something like 3% of these Central Bank held bonds mature. i.e. they're paid off. At the moment the Central Banks are taking that money and buying some more 30 year dated debt with it. Except the Fed in the US are tapering, every so often, they shift it into 1 year debt so that more and more of their debt takes on a shorter profile. At some point, when we have too much inflation, Central Banks will stop re-buying bonds and will destroy the money they temporarily created each time they're paid back. This will (theoretically at least) remove the excess liquidity permanently from the economy - and will allow them to sop-up any future inflation they've created with QE.
If they'd just printed money and given each taxpayer say £1,000 (helicopter money), that would have been more inflationary at the time, and impossible to reverse. The only way to kill off the inflation caused by that would be a rise in taxes or interest rates, which would have done more to damage the recovery.
The funamental point here though is that accountable democractic governments control Central Banks. They deliberately do this at arm's length to stop them being tempted to advantage themselves politically. And we can kick them out if we don't like what they do. It's also in their own interests for economies to do well.
Bitcoin has just split into two currencies because it's controlled by a much less accountable and transparent system. And there's been an argument over an update.
Bitcoin is not a reliable store of value. 3 years ago it went from being worth $1,200 per coin to $100 per coin in about 2 days. I think it had been sat at about $100 for the year before that, then briefly shot up, then collapsed.
It's also not a very good medium of exchange, because so few people accept it. That's less of a problem though, because it can happily survive being used by a small subset of people. Crypto is currently utterly unimportant, because it's so small. It may well become a valuable part of the modern economy, but that's not a problem, we already have lots of money-like things and can easily have one more.
However one reason we avoided the last recession turning into a recession was government. They didn't stop it happening, but broadly did the right stuff to not make it worse. Other than in the Eurozone, where they made a mess of it a bit first, because Eurozone governance was so badly set-up. When something horrible happens to Bitcoin, who'll fix the problem? People demonise Central Banks, even though they saved the word economy.
Bitcoin fans talk about the evils of inflation without seeming to realise that deflation damages societies as much or more. And Bitcoin has baked-in deflation. Deflation is why nobody will go back to the Gold Standard. Also 5% inflation is not wonderful, but not terrible either. Inflation only gets dangerous when it's above 10%, and if predictable is not that bad even then. It's hyper-inflation that's so destructive. 5% deflation for a few years can devastate an economy.
Deflation in Bitcoin is less serious, as it's not a whole economy and nobody borrows in Bitcoin. Debt becomes disastrous in a delfationary invironment. And while you might say that's good, without debt you get almost no investment, which means almost no economic growth. Hence QE. Deliberately created inflation to save us from the debt-deflation trap that made the 1930s so miserable and the 1940s so explodey. But reversable inflation.