In brief:

  • The Bank of Japan has removed limits on buying government bonds.
  • This allows for potentially unlimited quantitative easing.
  • This matches similar comments by the Federal Reserve that it has unlimited money.

The Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced another expansion of monetary stimulus today amid the coronavirus pandemic. It has removed the upper limits of government bond-buying, canceling the previously recommended annual threshold of 80 trillion yen, according to Reuters.

“The BOJ will purchase necessary amounts of government bonds without setting an upper limit to keep long-term interest rates around its 0% target,” the bank stated.

Japan's central bank has removed limits on quantitative easing. Image: Shutterstock

Additionally, the central bank has increased the maximum amount of corporate bonds and commercial debt it plans to buy from 7 trillion to 20 trillion yen ($186 billion).

This way, Japan’s central bank plans to keep borrowing costs low and ease economic pains caused by the pandemic.

At the same time, the BOJ has adjusted its economic forecast, predicting that inflation would likely miss its target of two percent for the next three years.

“The spread of the coronavirus at home and abroad is inflicting a severe impact on Japan’s economy. [...] The achievement of the BOJ’s 2% inflation target [...] will take time. The outlook for prices is highly uncertain,” BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda stated after the policy meeting on Monday.

According to Toru Suehiro, a senior market economist at Mizuho Securities, the removal of the bond-buying limit is “like killing two birds with one stone” for the bank.

“With today’s move, the BOJ can stand pat on monetary policy for the time being void of a disruptive market move,” he noted.

As though there’s nothing unstable about flooding an economy with infinite money.

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