The Federal Reserve's latest stimulus target is intended to rouse the housing market, generate wealth and drive down unemployment, all of which conceivably could happen.Back to top
But it will be the assortment of unintended consequences that all the money printing and price-boosting - even outside of the obvious inflation risk - will have that will keep Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke awake at night.
So while investors were busy Thursday and Friday buying up stocks and metals and selling bonds and the U.S. dollar, financial experts were sizing up what "QE Infinity" also might bring to the economy and marketplace.
A few of the risks:
1. Moral Hazard, Washington Version
Bernanke has time and again exhorted lawmakers in the nation's capital to get serious about fiscal reform and economic growth.
But with Thursday's announcement that the Fed will engage in quantitative easing for as long as it takes to get the economy rolling again, he may have taken the onus off Washington to put its own house in order.
That's dangerous, considering Congress and the White House need to reach deficit-reduction goals or risk falling off the fiscal cliff of mandated tax increases and spending cuts.
"My sense is that Ben and his colleagues at the Fed do not expect much support from a trade policy that would be more growth-oriented, from fiscal policies that would be more longer-term," former Fed governor Kevin Warshsaid on CNBC. "So they've got to be worried about these things, and they are trying to compensate for these other failings."