Ellen Brown has done here the best job I've seen to-date in explaining what's currently going on.
Let me add that all the hand-ringing by the deficit hawks and many gold bugs, etc., is really about the fact that the push on the string is not directed at the superrich this time.
Ben Bernanke has been given the go-ahead for this altered form (albeit insufficient and still slightly misdirected) of stimulus lending. The plutocrats above him know that there is only so much the people can and will take before the superrich are shooting themselves in both feet. (They do that all the time; but unless the nearly bloodless bleed, they don't see it.) This easing is a plausibly deniable bone in most respects, but Ellen is still right that it's better than what has been going on (but still not the best alternative).
Ellen of course would choose the better path because she has the common people's interest at heart. I'm not saying she's not practical or pragmatic. Actually, doing the right thing by the masses is highly pragmatic. It's even visionary.
The ideal alternative would be for a transparent and accountable government to issue the money it needs outright, a function the Constitution reserves to Congress; but an interest-free loan from the Federal Reserve rolled over indefinitely is the next best thing.