The Bank of Canada is creating heaps of new money

Figure 1. Government of Canada Bonds held by the Bank of Canada, BOC Series V36613

These are unprecedented times. Six months ago, the Bank of Canada (BoC) began a program of Quantitative Easing (QE) for the first time in its 85-year history. It has been creating an average of $6 billion every week since the end of Mach to purchase Government of Canada Bonds, facilitating the injection of nearly $155 billion into financial markets. Amounting to 67% of the bank’s $232 billion government bond holdings, these purchases have been keeping funding markets liquid and interest rates low. Figure 1 shows the evolution of the Bank of Canada’s government bond holdings since 1980. In addition to Government of Canada Bonds, the bank has been purchasing provincial and corporate bonds through two new purchase programs. In the last half year, its total financial assets have grown from $125 billion to $537 billion, an increase of $413 billion.

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