Thursday, July 28, 2011

Real Time Analysis

I will use a relevant measure of Federal debt. I don't know why everybody talks about the $14.3 trillion debt when the relevant measure is less than $10 trillion, but there must be reasons. Anyway, I already did my debt graphs with the $14.3 debt series. Now I'll use the other one.

But first...

Jim suggests that I use FGSDODNS as a measure of the Federal debt. That's "Debt Outstanding Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors - Federal Government Sector". It looks like this:

But I'm thinking about using the one that comes up when search FRED for "Total Credit Market Debt". That's "Total Credit Market Debt Owed by Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors - Federal Government" (FGTCMDODNS).

That Series ID is not too hard to read, by the way (I keep telling myself):

  • FG is Federal Government,
  • TCMDO is TCMDO (Total Credit Market Debt Owed), and
  • DNS is Domestic Nonfinancial Sector (of which FG is part).

So how does the "Debt Outstanding" total compare to "Total  Credit Market Debt"?

Pretty close. (There are only a few blue dots peeking through the red trend  line.)

I wonder how they look in a ratio, showing Jim's number as a percent of mine?

Weird, but close. Always within two or three percent, in a pattern that looks like the result of some bookkeeping rule or some bureaucratic imposition.

But it gets me thinking. I use TCMDO because I found TCMDO. I'm gonna search FRED for "Debt Outstanding" and see what I get. Maybe there's better information under that name...

24 items, including the BofAML stuff again, along with some discontinued series. Try "Debt Outstanding Domestic" instead?

22 items. And it probably dropped  yadda yadda Foreign, which I want. I'll go with the 24 items.

Looks like there are three categories to add together to get "total" debt outstanding. Just like I did yesterday for components of TCMDO. But I don't see a total, comparable to TCMDO. That's okay. I know how to make one. I'll add these three together:

  • Debt Outstanding Domestic Financial Sectors (DODFS)
  • Debt Outstanding Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors - Total Domestic Nonfinancial Sectors (TODNS)
  • Debt Outstanding Foreign Financial Sector, Rest of the World Credit Market Instruments, Excluding Corporate Equities Liability (DODFFSWCMI)

and them compare the total to TCMDO...

Yep, the three added together peak at about 52 thousand billion, same as TCMDO. And with the latter overlaid on the total in red...

Call them equal.

Good. So I can use my TCMDO numbers, and not waste the shopping experience.

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