When the Federal Reserve unveiled the bond buying programs everyone now knows as quantitative easing, there were two complaints whose prominence was outmatched only by their erroneous assertions.
The first was that the Fed was printing money that would quickly debase the currency and lead to high inflation. The second, which followed a little while later, was that banks weren't lending out the reserves the Fed was giving to them.
We hear these things a lot less now. Most people can believe the evidence that QE didn't produce high inflation, even if they don't understand precisely why. And the notion that the amount of excess reserves in the banking system meant that banks weren't lending has been explained as nonsense to the satisfaction of anyone paying attention.
I'm afraid, however, that we're now in danger of the opposite errors rising to prominence. People who understand that QE isn't "money printing" and that banks don't lend out reserves (and aren't reserve constrained) are quite regularly falling into a false feeling of comfort about QE—a feeling made all the more dangerous because it is accompanied by a feeling of wisdom by those experiencing it. Some of the people most sophisticated about QE are fooling themselves.