More simply, part of the Fed's hope is that these moves will buoy investor wealth and decrease the cost of raising money. Bernanke is also attempting to reduce the cost of capital for corporations to make projects more attractive to invest in.
The Romney campaign used the Fed's new monetary policy announcement to claim that it confirmed Obama's economic policies had failed.
"After four years of stagnant growth, falling incomes, rising costs, and persistently high unemployment, the American economy doesn't need more artificial and ineffective measures," Lanhee Chen, Romney's policy director, said in a statement.
Not all Republicans agree with Romney's approach.
"The Fed has had a decades history of independence from politics, and I think that the Fed acted when they felt they should act, and not when anyone else said they should act," said Jim Denton, a Nevada-based Republican political consultant. "I remember when President George H.W. Bush was upset with [former Fed Chairman] Alan Greenspan because he wouldn't lower interest rates during the election."
The Fed downplayed the possibility of easing in the early part of the summer as investors magnified their calls for the central bank to step in to combat the elevated unemployment rate. The worry among many analysts was that if Bernanke and his team waited too long, Americans would see a late 2012 move as purely political -- something that would benefit President Barack Obama.
It's unlikely that QE3 will have a noticeable impact on the economy before the election, and
The Washington Post's
Chris Cillizza pointed out
that "economic-minded" Republican and Democratic strategists don't think the monetary stimulus will influence the presidential race.
Many voters and market analysts may side with Romney, though on slightly different grounds.
"Clearly, the effectiveness of each quantitative easing looks to me that each time they do it it's less and less effective," said Allan Flader, a financial adviser at RBC Wealth Management. "They keep making money plentiful; the economic term is 'marginal utility,' where you're coming out of the desert and you're really thirsty [so] that first glass of water you'd pay $1 million for, but the 100th glass of water you might only pay a penny for."