FED prints free money to Investment banks like Goldman Sachs (I say free because quantity is unlimited and interest rate is way below what anyone could get free money at, ie if they can borrow at .5% and opportunity nets 1%, than they can make money on a opportunity when anyone with costs greater than 1% couldn't meaning most people). IB's like goldman sachs buy assets with printed money (paper for hard assets); losses are absorbed by central banks who print the dollars (in catastrophic scenarios like now) In addition, with FED's inflationary bias its almost impossibel for IB's to lose money since even bad decisions should make money over time (considering cost of money), put another way compounding effect of inflation versus cost of capital (ie they can borrow at rates lower than inflation effectively). I see this arb play over and over where money flowing from FED is to buy assets that are giving lower and lower rates of return. No normal business person would buy at low rates, but IB's would since they can arb away with free money getting 1% returns and leveraging up (ie Goldman Sachs could run McDonalds with 1% net margins but no private investor would) Ultimately, all assets flow to the IBs. Even today, GS is the new FRE/FNM in that it has implicit backing of FED/wont let it fail. GS debt financing would be cheaper versus bank that isn't under FED umbrella.