Why Did FRED Suddenly Discontinue Reporting On The Fed's Balance Sheet Normalization?

In the interests of transparency at The 'New' Federal Reserve, The St.Louis Fed has decided, suddenly and without warning, to discontinue the production of The Fed's balance sheet size from its FRED website.

h/t @MichaelLebowitz

And while the data is still available on various data terminals and The New York Fed SOMA site continues to provide the updates, we can't help but wonder why the government would decide that this data series - one that is simple to report, readily available from the source, and requires very little manpower to produce - would suddenly be discontinued from one of the most popular, publicly accessible, and free US government data repositories?

Perhaps it is because the pace of balance sheet normalization is about to take a huge step larger - from around $30bn to around $50bn per month in the next quarter...


Or perhaps its because if 'average joes' accessing FRED can see the normalization accelerating and will notice that the SMART money is piling out of the stock market - and selling to the greater fools chasing momo...

Or more likely, Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg is right: "Don’t fight the Fed works in both directions..."



fockewulf190 nope-1004 Wed, 07/04/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

Sometime I‘ll flick on CNBS Europe to catch the latest fiat prices for gold and silver which rotate on the ticker right after nat gas and oil.  About a week ago they dropped the silver price.  As of Monday, gold has also been dropped.  Strangely enough, Palladium and Platinum are still being shown.  Who made the phone call and got them axed?  More importantly, why?  Somebody doesn‘t want any extra attention being advertised regarding the phyzz prices.  With all the massive BS going on at the Comex and in London, something must be coming to a boil.

In reply to by nope-1004

hooligan2009 fockewulf190 Wed, 07/04/2018 - 14:43 Permalink

they do love their BTC - pushing it as one of the 20 most important commodities inthe world on their scrolling ticker, along with major currencies/crude/gov ylds.

BTC is less than 1/8th the market cap of goog and aapl, but they choose to only show BTC.

i remember CNBC Europe and the US were shouting about BTC from the rafters back in December/January when BTC was tracking at 18-20,000 bucks - getting in dozens of "experts" to explain why it was going to 500,000 by july 2010 (mcafee ppv dick eating anyone?).


he also had it at 15,000 by end June.


now its under 7,000 and anyone that got suckered in by the massive tv advertizing by CNBC has lost 60% of their investment.

In reply to by fockewulf190

junction DiotheDog Wed, 07/04/2018 - 13:17 Permalink

Maybe the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) applies here.  The staffer or staffers at the St. Louis Fed who did the chore got tired of doing it, went on vacation or were transferred.  No mystery if you think that people would prefer to text and chit chat at a quasi-government job rather than work hard creating statistics and charts that almost no one cares about.

In reply to by DiotheDog

MK ULTRA Alpha Billy the Poet Wed, 07/04/2018 - 13:39 Permalink

ZH is correct, someone didn't want to spook the markets. There was a lot of noise from the markets about the Fed selling off it's balance sheet. It's causing volatility of which there had been none.

The Fed is aggressive in it's new proclaimed mission of fighting inflation. It was strange when the Fed exclaimed they've discovered inflation, no it was used as the PR to start the unwind of the massive Fed balance sheet. (The massive Fed balance sheet is a product of the QE liquidity war which was Central Bank wars between China, the US and EU. The Chinese CB printing forced the Fed to re-inflate the global economy because of a Chinese manufactured and directed deflationary wave.)  

The dollar is going through the roof as emerging markets of developing countries are crashing. Why? countries like Argentina have dollar denominated debt, thus they must buy dollars with their currency to pay off the debt. When the dollar shoots to the moon they're destroyed.

Each month the Fed is selling bonds into the economy, that removing/draining liquidity from the QE era. Less dollars and greater demand because of global economic growth is forcing the dollar's value to increase, it's a supply and demand equation.

Selling the balance sheet is standard Federal Reserve Open Market Operations, I believe this method increases the value of the dollar and taps down on inflation faster than raising interest rates. Take a trillion dollars out of the global reserve currency and you will have a super dollar and goods like OIL in relative terms becomes less expensive because of the buying power of the super dollar.


In reply to by Billy the Poet

AGuy junction Wed, 07/04/2018 - 15:24 Permalink

". The staffer or staffers at the St. Louis Fed who did the chore got tired of doing it, went on vacation or were transferred."

Nada, since someone still has to sell & keep track of what was sold.

"Perhaps it is because the pace of balance sheet normalization is about to take a huge step larger - from around $30bn to around $50bn per month in the next quarter..."

Or Perhaps the Fed is no longer selling, but buying again. It appears from the last data point that the holdings increased slightly.

In reply to by junction

lasvegaspersona DiotheDog Wed, 07/04/2018 - 19:07 Permalink

I suggest a few days at Steve Earle's Camp Copperhead. You'll learn to count syllables, learn iambic pentameter and be challenged to make your best rhymes better before releasing them upon the public....and so much more...Steve thinks he's a 'Marxist' (he's likely wrong about that) but the man can write.

Or maybe Billy the Poet can give you few tips....

In reply to by DiotheDog

rmopf2010 Wed, 07/04/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

Or because the FED stopped the unwind and is not shedding money any more!

Instead they are in operation "Twist" reinvesting money from maturing bonds to buy new bonds.



Roger Ramjet Wed, 07/04/2018 - 13:18 Permalink

Or, perhaps the Fed has no intention of drawing down its balance sheet by the amount expected.  And I doubt the "average Joe" has any clue about FRED or how the size of the Fed's balance sheet impacts asset prices.

Look, my cynicism meter is already maxed out at 11 and who knows what and why these intellectual idiots do what they do, but anything they do first and foremost will generally be to the benefit the large banks. 

Drawing down the Fed's balance sheet will mean less interest on excess reserves (IOER).  Along with a flattening yield curve, that would negatively impact their earnings significantly. 

The Fed's primary concern will always be preserving the viability of the big banks, under the false assumption that the US economy could not function without them.  Its a good rule of thumb to follow.