A recent remark by Ashwin points out that
Too much "innovation" has happened and the Fed's control of money supply has essentially vanished.
I agree with that, certainly. We are all Kosh. I just don't agree that the situation is "irretrievable."
Graph #1 shows the various money measures since 1959. Base money is the blue line at bottom.
All the money measures got squashed down substantially to make room for the debt. But what Graph #2 does not show is any sort of proportional relation between debt and the money measures. I rectify that in Graph #3:
Development Notes & Methodology for Graph #3:
I want to think of base money as the minimum, and total debt as the maximum. And I want to look at the quantity of money (M1, MZM, M3, whatever) within that range.
I had to fiddle with sample numbers on a spreadsheet to see how to do this. (Keep in mind, I have no idea whether the numbers will turn out to show what I expect them to show. I'm coming at it blind.)
I want to put total debt across the top of my graph, and base money across the bottom. So the range of values, the up-and-down dimension for my graph, will be the difference between total debt and base money. If there is one dollar of base and ten dollars of debt, the range-value is 9 and I will have to stretch or compress it to fit the graph. If (in a different year) there is $5 of base and $500 of debt, the range value is 495 and again I will have to stretch or compress it to fit the graph.
So the range value will be part of my calculation.
Also, I know that the baseline for the graph is the base money number. Base money is not zero, of course. But I want to show it at the zero location (across the bottom of the graph). So I know I will have to subtract the base-money number from whatever value I plot.
For base money, this will give me zero-values. That's right. And for total debt, it will give me a value equal to the range (total debt minus base money) which is 100% of the difference, which is also right.
(It is easier to do math with numbers than with words. You may find the spreadsheet less confusing than this description of my process.)
Anyway, that is all there is to the calculation. For each year figure a range-value (max less min, or total debt less base money). Then figure a factor-value (100 divided by the range-value). This determines how much each value will have to be stretched or compressed so that the maximum will come out at the 100% level on the graph.
Finally, for any money-value, subtract the base money number for that year from it, and multiply by the factor-value. That's it.
So, if B is the base-money number and T is the total-debt number and N is the money-value you want to plot, the calculation is: (N-B)*(100/(T-B))
The sample values I used to work out the calculation ended up looking nothing like I expected. There's no reason they should, for my sample values for base money used "add one to get the next value". And my sample values for total debt were "square the base-money number and add one". And like that.
The Excel spreadsheet.