Yesterday the Treasury Select Committee sub-committee took evidence from the Debt Management Office, which sells gilts for the Government, on whether enough is being done to prepare for the unwinding of QE.
Over the last three years, the Bank of England has bought £325 billion worth of Government bonds from the secondary market. I was particularly concerned that the Bank’s plan to raise rates and sell off a third of its portfolio would affect the yield curve of Government bonds. As Andrew Tyrie, the Chairman of the TSC, rightly said, “we need to start thinking about this because it is a huge sum of money.”
I was quite clear to the Debt Management Office’s Chief Executive, Robert Stheeman, that they really need to consider how to exit from QE before they start doing it and look at all the implications to the wider economy. It is worrying that still no one appears to have considered the mechanism by which we stop QE, and I am certain this is a matter which the TSC will consider again in the future.
You can watch my exchange with Mr Stheeman below.