How Much Federal Debt Does the Fed Own?

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?

6 thoughts on “How Much Federal Debt Does the Fed Own?”

  1. Looks like Excel is the ticket, I was surprised how fast the charts are generated in Excel, the video tutorial is very useful

  2. The FED is a private corporation owned by banks. The FED prints the U.S. currency, the federal reserve note. They charge the government (the tax payers) for this. They are the largest single holder of federal debt. The federal debt is paid with income taxes. Income taxes can only be paid with federal reserve notes.

    Passive income in the trillions for the Fedral Reserve. Every dollar of income you earn generates tax dollars for the Federal Reserve. why does a private corporation earn money off of every dollar you earn? Is this anyway to run a country?

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