You thought it was gibberish didn't you, the title. But it snot.
f = Federal
d = Debt
h = Held
b = By
f = Federal
r = Reserve
Those six letters make up most of the series name for two data series at FRED:
I checked the check boxes for both series and clicked Add to Graph. Result:
|Graph #1: FDHBFRB and FDHBFRBN at FRED|
There's that big up-thing on the right there, what with the crisis and all. I don't care about the big up-thing. I'm gonna cut it off like a finger in a gory movie.
|Graph #2: FDHBFRB and FDHBFRBN thru 2007|
I'm gonna go in and edit the graph and set the units to "Percent Change from Year Ago" for both series. So we can see the growth of Fed holdings of Federal debt.
Well shit. I did that, the graph changed, and the cut-off-finger years magically re-attached themselves to the graph. (The graph ends at 2016 again, not 2007 like I want.) So I cut them off again:
|Graph #3: Percent Change from Year Ago for the Data Shown on Graph #2|
Odd, isn't it, how "bumps" changed to "humps" when the graph changed from "Billions of Dollars" to "Percent Change from Year Ago".
Number one, I want to take the two data series and average them together. That way I end up with one data series for the period shown.
Next I want to take and put a Hodrick-Prescott on it, to improve the visibility of the trend in the data.
Done. And it came out better than I expected:
|Graph #4:Average of the Two FRED Series (blue) and the H-P Trend (red)|
Okay. This being Saturday, the wife made me breakfast. I came back to the computer an hour or so later, ready to double check the dates of those four highs in the H-P trend line.
Nothing. No Excel file. It's gone. Where the hell is it?
Not on my desktop (where I put everything).
Not in my downloads folder. I didn't download the data from FRED.
Not on the list of recent files in Excel.
Not on the list of recent files in the Windows menu.
Where the hell is it? I know I created the file: I used it to make Graph #4.
Oh you know what? It probably got saved where Excel files go when you choose to open them rather than downloading them.
Like that. So, where does the file go when you "open with" like that? I have to do another one to see. Open it and check the path.
The Temp folder. It goes to the Temp folder in the Local folder in the AppData folder in my folder in Users. If I can remember all that.
So what's in the Temp folder?
Looking for an Excel file... not the first one... the second one I think.
Copy to Desktop.
Yeah that's it. The source for Graph #4 is there. Got it. Okay. I must have forgot to save the thing to the desktop immediately after I opened it, and it went to the default place. Temp.
You thought it was a virus, didn't you.
What I want to do now, I want to look at Real (inflation-adjusted) GDP and RGDP per Capita, percent change of these:
|Graph #5: Percent Change from Year Ago for RGDP per Capita (blue) and RGDP (red)|
|Graph #6: Average of the two RGDP Series (blue) and the H-P Trend (red)|
Now we're getting to the good stuff. (I have not seen it yet, myself.) I want to take the Hodrick-Prescott from Graph #4 (Fed Holdings of Federal Debt) and put it on a graph with the Hodrick-Prescott from Graph #6 (RGDP). This will let us compare the growth-rate trends.
So this next graph shows the H-P for Fed holdings of Federal government debt, in blue. And it shows the H-P for RGDP growth, in red:
|Graph #7: H-P Trend from Graph #4 (blue) and H-P Trend from Graph #6 (red)|
I will say only that the blue line shows policy, and the red shows the result of policy.
The constant used in the H-P calculations is 1600; all data are quarterly.
Here's my Excel file. Note, the file contains Kurt Annen's VBA code for the Hodrick-Prescott.