The fine folks at FRED, the economic data service of the St. Louis Fed, recently added seven new data series showing how various measures of federal debt compare to the economy as a whole, as measured by GDP.
I particularly enjoyed this one, showing the federal debt owned by the Federal Reserve banks.
Quantitative easing gets all the press these days and understandably so given the recent spike in Fed ownership of Treasuries, now equivalent to almost 11 percent of annual GDP. But the chart also reminds us of that brief period early in the financial crisis when the Fed sold lots of Treasuries so it could make loans and buy other assets.
P.S. Anyone know how to get the FRED graph’s vertical axis to start at 0?