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Stock market watchers are hoping U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, seen here Feb. 29, 2012, will announce a third round of quantitative easing. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)
Stock market watchers are hoping U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, seen here Feb. 29, 2012, will announce a third round of quantitative easing. (JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS)

FINANCE

Market bulls seek helping hand from central banks Add to ...

For much of the past three years, the world’s stock markets have relied on central bankers the way junkies rely on drug dealers. The question now is whether the next fix will come – and what will happen if the markets are forced to go cold turkey.

More than any other single factor, the recovery in equities has been fuelled by the largesse of the world’s leading central banks, especially the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, as those key financial institutions have expanded their balance sheets to prime the struggling global financial system and keep money flowing.

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