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Is the ECB the only central bank conducting asset purchases?
Many central banks have used outright purchases as part of their monetary policy, often referred to as quantitative easing, or QE. It has been employed by the Federal Reserve Board, the Bank of England and the Bank of Japan. Open market operations are a core instrument of central banks even in normal times. Outright purchases become useful when policy interest rates cannot be reduced any further. They can help central banks to fulfil their mandate, which in the case of the ECB is maintaining price stability, and thereby support growth and the creation of jobs.