Are central banks doing more harm than good?

Mario Draghi
Kai Pfaffenbach | Reuters

Central banks in general and the Fed in particular have faced a tough question over the past two years or so: Are they out of bullets?

But recent developments indicate an even thornier issue: What if aggressive monetary actions not only have run their course, but are actually causing damage?

Central banks in the U.S., Europe and much of Asia have been cranking out the easing programs since the Great Recession spread around much of the world.

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The results have been mixed: In staving off a complete global collapse, the banks have managed to push up asset prices but their respective domains remain mired in weak economic growth and, around Europe, the prospect of deflation rather than the inflation the policies sought to trigger.