Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Except sometimes

I thought it would be easy to find, you know, at the Fed, the reserve requirement as set by the Fed.

I thought wrong.

I didn't give up yet. But I did find an interesting distraction. Total reserves as a percent of required reserves around the time of the Great Depression:

Graph #1: Reserves Held as a Percent of Reserves Required, 1918-1944
A couple mountains there on the right. Reaches up around 200% of required reserves. Twice the requirement. Pretty substantial.

That reminded me of the increase in total reserves we've seen since 2008. So I went back to FRED, found "Total Reserves of Depository Institutions", divided it by
"Required Reserves of Depository Institutions", and put it on the graph along with the 1918-1944 data. The new data runs from 1959 to 2015. So there's a gap of 15 years or so with no information. That's okay:

Graph #2: Reserves Held as a Percent of Reserves Required, 1918-2015
One mountain there on the right, now. Green. Reaches up around two thousand percent of required reserves. Twenty times the requirement.

The blue mountains from Graph #1 have moved over to the left and, at two hundred percent of the requirement, are almost nothing compared to the recent spike.

Oh -- that gap there, between the end of the blue line and the start of the green, you could figure that's just a straight line connecting the blue and green together. So all the time we have reserves held running right in the neighborhood of 100% of the required amount, except sometimes.


jim said...

Is this what you are looking for:

The Arthurian said...

Hey, Jim, that's perfect. Thank you!