But, the winds are shifting. Here's a quote from a recent speech titled The Limits of Monetary Policy (!) by Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher.
...we are purchasing the equivalent of all newly issued Treasury debt through June. [...] By this action, we have run the risk of being viewed as an accomplice to Congress’ fiscal nonfeasance.
The entire FOMC knows the history and the ruinous fate that is meted out to countries whose central banks take to regularly monetizing government debt. Barring some unexpected shock to the economy or financial system, I think we have reached our limit. I would be wary of further expanding our balance sheet. But here is the essential fact I want to emphasize today: The Fed could not monetize the debt if the debt were not being created by Congress in the first place.
The Second Bank of the United States only lasted for 20 years. Right out of the gate, they created a massive real estate bubble. [I was very interested to read that the boom period saw the establishment of the NYSE (in March 1817) which was the first formal indoor stock exchange in the country.] The bubble led to the Panic of 1819 - a horrible crash.