Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why'd they do that?

At FRED, the default view of MULT (the M1 money multiplier) starts at 1984:

Graph #1: FRED's MULT

And that's the earliest start you can get, for the MULT data. The earliest start I can get. But I was looking at my Desperate Measures post the other day, and it shows a FRED graph of M1 money and the money base, both going back to 1959:

Graph #2: The Components of MULT

So FRED has the data it needs, to show MULT back to 1959, anyway. Why did they only go back to 1984, I wonder.

This comes up, because while I was looking at Graph #2 -- and knowing that MULT is the ratio of the blue line to the red -- I again noticed the bumps in M1 money and I wondered why they didn't stand out on the MULT graph.

I guess they do, if you're thinking about them. But with the older data cut off like that, there's no prior trend to indicate that the bump is actually a bump. From what we can see on the MULT graph, the ratio might always have been choppy like that, before 1995. You just can't say. So I made my own version of MULT:

Graph #3: MULT back to 1959

The bumps *do* stand out.

The blue line starts in 1959, ends in 2011. I overlaid FRED's MULT on top of it (in red) and you can see it's a good match.

You can also see the ratio wasn't always choppy before 1995. It was only choppy during those M1 bumps in the 1980s and 1990s. Other than that, it was all downhill.

Actually, AMBSL goes back to 1918. M1SL only goes back to 1959. In the Historical Statistics, M1 goes back to 1915, and you could get a really long-term view of MULT using that. Maybe it wasn't *all* downhill...

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