Guest Post: Charting The Federal Reserve's Assets - 1915-2012

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Thomas Gresham of Gresham's Law,

Here we present a history of the Fed in charts. As you’ll surely glean from the below — the Fed has degenerated from a by and large passive institution (dealing only in high-quality self-liquidating commercial paper and gold) to an active pursuant of junk, an enabler of wars, a ‘benevolent’ combatant of the depressions of its own creation, a central planner of employment & prices and of course a forgiving friend to inconvenient market follies.

The Fed's Assets from 1915 to 2012:

1915 to 1925

1925 to 1935

1935 to 1945

1945 to 1955

1955 to 1965

1965 to 1975

1975 to 1985

1985 to 1995

1995 to 2005

2005 to 2012

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trav7777's picture

is that $30 POG spike on kitco real?

Obadiah's picture

WTH is a POG?  just askin

Obadiah's picture

thanks but POG spike


Are they selling us plastic money now?  WTF



Michael's picture

What if the assets of the Fed are only worth half what they state their worth?

Federal Reserve = Bag Holders. HA Ha.

atomic180's picture

Time heals all wounds...

flacon's picture

Remember, "Deficits don't matter". 

Until they do.


In that last chart, the legend says "Gold Reserves", but by golly I don't even see that bright yellow represented on that chart. Perhaps all they need to do is REVALUE GOLD by a couple orders of magnitude and the problem will be solved. That is... if they even have any gold... 

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The graph looks like someone wanted to one up parabolic

Harlequin001's picture

One look at that chart and you can see that despite anything less than 99.9999% deflation/default/collapse of credit assets MUST result in higher gold. Can't wait till they knock at least three zeros off the dollar price of it, just like Zim.

You Americans must be absolutely fucking loaded with all those assets. $1 million/ounce is obviously just a stop off...

FEDbuster's picture

FED = Zombie Bank

FED = Deficit Enabler

Reserve fiat currency (backed by US military) makes it all possible.  When the world says "no mas" to the dollar, America will dive head first into the shit abyss.

trav7777's picture

"they" can't just revalue gold except by printing a ton of money

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

What interests me is the selloff of platinum, the spike in the POG, but also silver didn't budge.  Maybe you are right in thinking gold will continue to have precedent over the other PMs.

lasvegaspersona's picture

the POG printer was stuck...just gotta know where to hit it....there coming back down to 'where it is supposed to be'...


Hobbleknee's picture

As I've stated a few times before, Obama sold all the gold in Ft Knox on his last trip to India.  That's why Obama took 34 warships with him (to secure the delivery) and built a 1 km-long, bomb-proof tunnel (to conceal the convoy delivering the gold) that lead to the museum which houses India's strongest and most heavily guarded vault.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I write up my "Review of Barron's, Dated 13 February 2012" there at my blog.  I include some obervations about the Fed's Balance sheet, a mere $26 billion away from $3 trillion...  It is going to be fun to see how the Fed keeps really quiet about crossing that figure (or else they'll just lie).

Barron's is a big publication, so I review a number of other articles as well.  Drop me a gmail @ my name for the link or Google it.

Hey, it's late, and you're not doing anything better, so go check it out!

Phil Free's picture

.Whew.  I almost thought you said, "TIM heals all wounds..." 


JohnG's picture

Taxpayers = Bagholders.

Ha Ha. Not.

Michael's picture

The Fed is a private corporation silting their own throats with toxic waste, HA ha.

economics1996's picture

Leveraged 57-1 last time I checked.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Hi, could we place an order for 'other assets'?  Just throw them in a bag and leave them out back, we'll swing by to pick them up later.  Thanks.

AldousHuxley's picture

fed and ECB will soon replaced by a higher authority:


IMF over europe and africa

world bank over americas and asia

BIS over switzerland


Fed knew they had to replace one bubble with another. NASDAQ tech bubble with housing bubble. nothing like housing bubble to kick off consumption.

"Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

Published: August 02, 2002



Running Out of Bubbles"


By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: May 27, 2005



economics1996's picture

"Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."


Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The shit hawks are circling, Randy.

palmereldritch's picture

I couldn't green arrow because of the a classic clip and a helluva drink take will have to do

McNoob's picture

Not to worry. The solution's quite simple really...

Nuke everyone and blame it on the Aliens. That way 'Bama can fund a new federal agency to fight against them with ZIPA4EVA fiat printing to infinity.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

I remember when the Onion was a humor site, before they switched to hard news.


FEDbuster's picture

"Little pieces of paper are the next big thing," speculator Joanna Nadir, of Falls Church, VA said. "Just keep telling yourself that. If enough people can be talked into thinking it's legitimate, it will become temporarily true."


BTW the Onion didn't switch to hard news, the economy turned into a joke.

Archon7's picture

... and now they're creating an "asset bubble" to replace the housing bubble.

ChrisFromMorningside's picture

Right, a lot of us tend to underestimate how far TBTP can kick the can. They might bring down the Fed themselves and replace with some new central planning authority. 90% of the populace would probably accept it without question.

DutchR's picture

So they could declare bankruptcy, right.


Take the debt op a few notches and then POOF.


The Pres can than coin new money (regarding the constitution) and we live happily ever after......

TeresaE's picture

"their own throats"

"they" is US.

You and me

When "they" slit "their" throats, WE pay with reduced purchasing power of mainly foreign products with the exception of government-mandated expenses that are growing by the milli-second.

They are slitting our throats.  "Their" throats will be safe outside the borders.

(Fiat) Bank on it.

AldousHuxley's picture


fraudulent inducement:

   banksters pushing debt while failing to disclose that they know inside information on backroom deals where you won't be able to pay it back (material omission).


"Vast mortgages originated after 1996 were fradulently induced" - former Secretary of Housing


only thing stopping is that pension funds own these toxic this is boomers protecting pensions while outsourcing jobs and selling bad debt (home, auto) to younger generation of Americans.

Caviar Emptor's picture

It was East vs West. Then Developed vs Emerging. From here it will just be Haves vs Have-Nots, even within the West/East and Developed/Emerging groups. 

AldousHuxley's picture

It will be military + wall st. + corporate farms + global government versus everyone else.


even if you "have" tons of money, government can tell you you owe tons in taxes and take it all away.

even if you own tons of farm land, corporate farms can outlaw you from reusing your seed and must by from them

even if you have done nothing wrong, military will drop a bomb on your ass and detain you forever because you are a suspected truth teller (aka. "'terrorist")

even if you have "representation", lobbyst will have your congress pass laws against you.


It will be those who control vs those who don't have control over currency + energy + food + military

Caviar Emptor's picture

Exactly Aldous. 

 I've been citing (below) from an article  published today that echoes your thoughts and shows that, already, many are taking it very seriously and going to the next level: 2nd and 3rd passports from countries that offer greater freedoms and tax haven status. And you'd be surprised who the countries are and who is buying citizenship. This is going to be a big issue

Hobbleknee's picture

Correct, except change all instances of "will be" to "is".

ChrisFromMorningside's picture

>>even if you own tons of farm land, corporate farms can outlaw you from reusing your seed and must by from them


100 years ago this was known as 'peonage' or 'debt bondage.' Today it's 'agribusiness.'

TeresaE's picture

nicely done.

Only you missed the largest catagory of debt that boomers have convinced X'ers and millenials to buy into:

College loan debt.  Larger than credit cards.

Yet over 40% of all jobs "created" (and saved!) have been minimum wage-ish and part-time.


At least they got them theirs.


Hugh G Rection's picture

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."
- Mayer Amschel Rothschild



AgShaman's picture


They should have included a map of smallish islands off the coast of Georgia

Poor Grogman's picture

Just a glitch in the matrix,

Define real?

JohnG's picture

Not on my screens.

$2 gap up at open, already filled.