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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fed Balance Sheet: then and now

I compare the most recent Fed balance sheet with the one in Feburary.  You will see a lot have changed.


(for all pictures below , please click to enlarge)

First, a review of the Fed balance sheet back in February (courtesy of Steve Cecchetti):




The Fed balance sheet now (as of Sept. 24, 2008, my own calculation):



Fed's balance sheet increased from $885 billion to $1,214 billion, a jump of 37%.  So far, we haven't seen much money-printing: the Fed reserve notes (the fiat money) just increased from $779 billion to $799 billion.  But the composition of Fed's asset holdings worsened, as highlighted in red.   The Fed put too much bank junks onto its balance sheet.


Below three extra graphs are taken out from Northern Trust research team, demonstrating the effect in a more dramatic fashion.