That means even less risk to financial assets, potentially buoying the rich even more.
The Fed, of course, undertook QE3 and low interest rates to stimulate the economy, not to boost one group of Americans over another. And indeed, Fed policies have arguably contributed to recent strong improvements in home values, which boosts wealth for many Americans. Yet the fact that middle-class and poor Americans are still struggling means that the recovery will still likely be a long time in coming.
"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.