Thursday, July 14, 2016

BOE: Broad and Narrow Money

FRED has been busy:

FRED has added 127 series from the Three Centuries of Macroeconomic Data research project published by the Bank of England. These data cover national accounts and other financial and macroeconomic data in the United Kingdom going back to the late 17th century.

Going back to the late 17th century. This I love. A first look:

Graph #1: Broad Money (blue) and Narrow Money (red)
Mostly invisible before the 1970s. And pretty much like the US, narrow money starts going up like crazy just as broad money starts to fall.

Here is the ratio:

Graph #2: The Ratio of Broad to Narrow
Quite a hump there, beginning around 1960.

The ratio runs close to five-to-one for 80 years, suddenly starts going up around 1960, suddenly runs into trouble around 1990, and suddenly starts to drop around 2006.

Remarkably, when it falls, it falls right back to where it was for the 80 years before 1960. I wish we could say everything is back to normal now. But that's probably just what the BOE was thinking when they decided to slow the growth of narrow money. It's probably why they picked the five-to-one level to normalize narrow money growth.

I wonder how the graph looks if we chop off the big increase and look at what's left.

Graph #3: The Ratio of Broad to Narrow, before 1970
At the start, zeroes before 1880. At the end, tight to the "5" line from the end of 1955 to the end of 1961, then suddenly starts the increase that we saw on Graph #2.

Other than that: a high point in 1889 and a low in 1896; a sudden drop in 1914; an increase beginning in 1925 with peaks in 1932 and 1936; and a low point in Q1 1946. The highest point occurs in the 1930s, where the ratio almost reaches 6-to-1.

In 2006 it was more than 32-to-1.

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