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Pam and Russ Martens: Fed's balance sheet soon will reach $8 trillion
By Pam and Russ Martens
Wall Street on Parade
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Every Thursday at approximately 4:30 p.m. the Federal Reserve provides a report on its balance sheet as of the prior day. It's known as the H.4.1 report or the Wednesday Level report.
On Thursday, September 4, 2008, the Fed's H.4.1 report showed a $935 billion balance sheet as of Wednesday, September 3, 2008. That was 12 days before iconic financial institutions on Wall Street began to blow up in what became the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. As of last Wednesday, February 17, 2021, the Fed's balance sheet stood at $7.6 trillion -- an increase of 712.83 percent in less than 13 years.
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The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 and such a staggering growth in its balance sheet has not occurred at any other period in U.S. history -- not during the Great Depression, not even during or after World War II.
What has changed the course of economic history in the United States and put the country on a debt-fueled disaster course is the Wall Street crash of 2008 and the bailouts, both monetary and fiscal, that have followed ever since, together with the unwillingness of Congress to confront this reality.
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