US Credit Crisis: Fed borrowing shown as a chart

If you would like to see the “official version of how much money the Fed is pumping into banks and financial institutions recently, have a look at the chart below.

The gray shaded areas are times officially recognized as recessions. The underlying data is available at the St. Louis Fed web site together with a charting application that allows you to further customize the range and other parameters.

To better visualize the substantial change we have split the data into two charts:

The larger chart shows the borrowing from the FED for the period 1919 to 2007 and the smaller one data for 2008 only. As you can see during these almost 90 years borrowing remained continuously within a range of almost none to max 8 Billion USD per month.

Since the beginning of 2008 the numbers have drastically changed and are now at about 155 Billion USD per month. The monthly figures for 2008 in detail:

  • 01-Jan-2008 45.7
  • 01-Feb-2008 60.2
  • 01-Mar-2008 94.5
  • 01-Apr-2008 135.4
  • 01-May-2008 155.8

Note: The data shown is not seasonally adjusted and data since March 2008 also includes the new credit facility created by the FED for “primary dealers”.

For the period since 1985 the FED has also made a weekly series available that before 2008 peaked in September 2001 around 10 Billion USD per week. This series – while the borrowing slightly lowered in the first week of June 2008 – has recently been tumbling around 30 Billion USD per week and went up earlier this year to around 45 Billion USD per week.


Click on the image below for a larger version

link to larger image









It would be interesting to adjust these series for the true changes in Price Parity, but if you assume 10,000% increase since 1919 (might be too low) we’re looking at figures similar to the depression in the 1920s.

But then – while no economic events should be compared directly by such basic measures alone – why has the US recently stopped publishing money supply figures.

One of the key questions remaining is if the FED actually expects these “financial institutions” to pay the loans they are currently so happily taking in back one day. The Financial Times might have an answer to this question and it looks like it’s the taxpayers again that seem to be expected to pick up the tab another time.

Further information:
The charts together with other series and explanations are available at the St. Louis Fed site at the following links:

Total Borrowing of Depository Institutions from the FED (monthly)
Total Borrowing of Depository Institutions from the FED (weekly)

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