"A lot of this hasn't flowed into the pockets of your average consumer," says Kathy Jones, Fixed Income Strategist at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. "Until we have that piece of the puzzle solved it's going to be slow going."
All of this makes it sound as if Fed policy has been disastrous for poor Americans, but that's not true. Even if it is demonstrably true that Bernanke & Co. are increasing economic inequality, easing has also arguably stimulated growth, keeping the poor afloat while it boosts stock prices.
"All else being equal, doing QE has helped the economy more than doing nothing," says Canally. "The Fed has probably created some jobs that would not have been created otherwise." He adds, however, that determining exactly how many jobs is remarkably difficult.
But the upshot may well be that while a low interest rates on savings account may be painful, without Fed stimulus Americans might have less money to put in those accounts in the first place.