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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Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

"Real" = another giant just locked in generations of wealth . . .

i_fly_me's picture

<deleted> Mr. Grogman beat me to it.

vast-dom's picture

all other assets = ILLEGAL derivatives and other toxic assets as purchased from insolvent banks = PURE FRAUD and policy that GOES AGAINST ROLE OF FED!

atomic180's picture

The Fed can do whatever the F they please that's why their an independant authority and no one has been as proactive in their history as Ben...he's either bold and truely brilliant or a madman...and totally legal cleaning up the MBS mess that JPM, GS, etc created...

JohnG's picture

You, sir/madam, are an idiot.

Tyler, please consider a way to ignore certain users.  Get Sac on it....

agNau's picture

He understands the depression, and for his legacy is attempting to improve on it.

SilverIsKing's picture

Proactive like Hitler was proactive.

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture


Fuck You's PPT.

midtowng's picture

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Esculent 69's picture

Could  someone please explain to me why Tyler has a Obama for America advertisement. All this talk for Ron Paul and how the republicans and deomcrats are all the same and how Obama is destroying the economy, but yet you take $$$ from them.  Little conflict of interest or strategic planning on behalf of our dear leader.  What gives?

RockyRacoon's picture

You don't know how those ads work, do you?  My ad was a Ron Paul ad.  You get the ads that follow your own web browsing.   Kinda, you get what you surf for.

Moe Howard's picture

RockyRacoon! Calling a spade a spade.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The computers at the SEC get ads with the goatse picture.

[Warning: do NOT search for the goatse picture if you don't know what it is; what is seen cannot be unseen.]


BorisTheBlade's picture

I bet size of the Fed balance sheet is 95% correlated with price of gold in dollars and inversely correlated with purchasing power of USD.

Bindar Dundat's picture

k=Looks bullish for red ink!

LongSoupLine's picture



Control the money and you'll control everything else.  This is what turns absolute power into absolute destruction.

Sockeye's picture

So, basically, the Fed IS the economy.

trav7777's picture

no...but it is making things appear nominally profitable which aren't.

Ropingdown's picture

As Hank Paulson said, "the banking system is the circulatory system of the economy and must be saved."  You could say that finance grew to be a giant fee-generating skim on the real economy, a 'stabilizer' (didn't you notice?), and so the blood of the economy apparently ended up largely under the banks', fed's, control.  The blood is in their veins.  You just get to plug into some capillaries and breath, feed, for a fee, if you play nice.  People are watching the Grammy's tonight.  Everything's cool.  What's the big deal?  Move along.

Clint Liquor's picture

Only God and Ben Bernanke can create something from nothing.

JohnG's picture

My wife can make mountains from molehills.

SilverIsKing's picture

Hey, I know someone just like her.

flacon's picture

Don't tell me we are all married to the same woman! God NO!

TeresaE's picture

That was funny.

My husband makes molehills out of mountains.

Why worry when his stock is paying a 2% dividend (minus 1% broker, minus 15% tax, minus 4% Michigan tax and then the freaking accountant to keep it all straight).


Death and Gravity's picture

2005-2012: As the Germans say:



RmcAZ's picture

These charts look bullish.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

"Are those Federal Reserve Assets in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?" - Mae West

Obadiah's picture

Awesome stuff!!!!  I love pictures of death and destruction!

JPM Hater001's picture

This all stinks of the Rothchilds.  Damn you Julia!!!

slewie the pi-rat's picture

ecstatic fuking convulsions, here, BiCheZ!

steelrules's picture

Interesting charts especially the first one, anyone know what "all other assets" is comprised of?

Eally Ucked's picture

Bigger or smaller pieces of shit

francis_sawyer's picture

"anyone know what "all other assets" is comprised of?"

the stuff you bend over &  KISS GOODBYE when your plane is about to crash

Manthong's picture

Unmarketable crap and smoke, soon to be more unmarketable crap and smoke.

The4thStooge's picture

Underwater mortgages, bits of string and duct tape (for holding the ponzi together), PIIGS bonds, and the entire 6-disc Star Wars collectors edition DVD box set with bonus footage of Natalie Portman giving Jar-Jar a BJ.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

On all three of his sex organs?

StychoKiller's picture

Women say they're better at multitasking...

StychoKiller's picture

Women say they're better at multitasking...

[Edit:]  Apparently I even have trouble with simple pushbuttons! :>D

TeresaE's picture

don't forget Beanie Babies, Bradford/Franklin Mint Plates and Precious Moments figurines.  Ya' know, all the great American investments.

SilverRhino's picture

The next few years are going to be very interesting.

Phil Free's picture

To quote the reputed Chinese proverb/curse:  "May you live in interesting times".


Some call it a proverb.  Some, a curse.  I guess we are lined up to find out which ...


Dermasolarapaterraphatrima's picture
The Monetary Elite vs. Gold's Honest Discipline  


Vincent R. LoCascio (Author)

Typically, people take our monetary unit for granted. While other standard such as year, pound, inch, etc. are well defined, the "dollar" is an unspecified unit of measure. As recently as 75 years ago, a dollar was defined as 1/20.67th of an ounce of gold and a Federal Reserve Note stated on its face: Pay to the bearer on demand. These words no longer appear. A $20 bill, therefore, is an unspecified obligation of the U.S. Treasury that says in effect:

The U.S. Treasury owes 20 "somethings" to no one in particular in no particular timeframe!

This book clearly lays out the implications of this corruption of the integrity of our monetary unit.

AssFire's picture

So it looks like everything since 1972 has been fake.

No surprise Nixon's fake money fiat policy ahh, I mean leaving the gold standard was the final straw. Must have been nice collecting interest on all that fake money for 40 years. Then there is the theft through inflation thing as well.

I hope the millionaire politicians and billionaire bankers burn in hell- after they are killed. I am an atheist, but I would pray for a hell to be established just for these bastards.

Notice the gold reserves virtually disappear by 1995 because they are so dwarfed by the fake shit.

lynnybee's picture

So it looks like everything since 1972 has been fake.   ...that's exactly what i was trying to explain to my friends & family!   except, i told them that basically, the past 100 years, the 20th century has not been normal, that the whole century was abnormal because of the Federal Reserve Bank.    (you know my sad story, they just laugh at me.)    History books will call it the "century of inflation."

AssFire's picture

(the original source)

Those same government bastards who confiscated the gold for the 1933 "reset' are gonna have a hell of a time if we all get physical gold and lead.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

You'll need the lead, since the Fed and TPTB will never allow holders of physical gold to profit by their prescience.  The primacy of fiat FRNs will be enforced at gunpoint, if need be.  Whatever it takes.  Understand the criminal mind.