The Federal Reserve on net purchased almost $4 trillion in additional securities between March 2009 and December 2014. Although the initial announcements of these policies were associated with dramatic market reactions, these responses were soon reversed. The overall market reaction to news surprises from the Federal Reserve over this period was increases, not decreases, in interest rates. It is hard to disentangle the effects of the purchases themselves from new information about economic fundamentals. My conclusion is that it is difficult to estimate accurately what large-scale asset purchases accomplished, but the magnitude of the effect is likely smaller than commonly believed.