Friday, December 4, 2009

Base Money Surpasses $2T

A little over a year ago, before September of 2008, base money had plateau'd at around $800B. Within three months there was a sudden spike to $1.8T, where it had stabilized for the better part of 2009. Around September of this year it has begun to drift upward again, now just over $2T.

Bank reserves follow exactly the upward trend in base money supply, meaning any new money created is just sitting in banks. Obviously the Fed and the Treasury Department gave it to them to lend out to "jump start" the economy and support inflated asset prices. But banks seem to be hesitant to lend it out.

So because the added money is sitting in banks, this is the equivalent of printing a trillion dollars and then burying it in coffee cans in the desert. There is no meaningful effect it is having on the overall supply of money in circulation. Not that a trillion dollar expansion is not of concern, but that is how it is playing out.

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