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More money: understanding recent changes in the monetary base

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  • William T. Gavin

Abstract

The financial crisis that began in the summer of 2007 took a turn for the worse in September 2008. Until then, Federal Reserve actions taken to improve the functioning financial markets did not affect the monetary base. The unusual lending and purchase of private debt was offset by the sale of Treasury securities so that the total size of the balance sheet of the Fed remained relatively unchanged. In September, however, the Fed stopped selling securities as it made massive purchases of private debt and issued hundreds of billions of dollars in short-term loans. The result was a doubling of the size of the monetary base in the final four months of 2008. This article discusses the details of the programs that the Fed has initiated since the crisis began, shows which programs have grown as the monetary base grew, and discusses some factors that will determine whether this rapid increase in the monetary base will lead to rapid inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • William T. Gavin, 2009. "More money: understanding recent changes in the monetary base," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 49-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2009:i:mar:p:49-60:n:v.91no.2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel L. Thornton, 2009. "The Fed, liquidity, and credit allocation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 13-22.
    2. Richard G. Anderson & Robert H. Rasche, 2001. "Retail sweep programs and bank reserves, 1994-1999," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 51-72.
    3. Richard D. Porter & Ruth Judson, 1996. "The location of U.S. currency: how much is abroad?," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Oct, pages 883-903.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Dupuy, 2013. "Households heterogeneity in a global CGE model: Les effets des politiques de Quantitative Easing sur le taux de change : les enseignements de l’expérience américaine," Larefi Working Papers 1302, Larefi, Université Bordeaux 4.
    2. Kevin L. Kliesen, 2010. "Inflation may be the next dragon to slay," The Regional Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 4-9.
    3. Zbyněk Revenda, 2009. "Monopoly centrálních bank a emise peněz
      [Central Bank Monopolies and Money Issuance]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(5), pages 579-600.
    4. José Francisco Bellod Redondo, 2010. "La Crisis Imposible: Tragedia En Tres Actos," Contribuciones a la Economía, Grupo Eumed.net (Universidad de Málaga), issue 2010-03, March.
    5. Cohen, Joseph N & Linton, April, 2010. "The historical relationship between inflation and political rebellion, and what it might teach us about neoliberalism," MPRA Paper 22522, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Zbyněk Revenda, 2016. "Peněžní a úvěrové multiplikátory ve vybraných ekonomikách
      [Money and Credit Multipliers in Selected Economies]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2016(5), pages 505-523.
    7. Richard G. Anderson & Charles S. Gascon, 2009. "The commercial paper market, the Fed, and the 2007-2009 financial crisis," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 589-612.
    8. Zbyněk Revenda, 2011. "The Role of Gold in the Monetary System," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(3), pages 47-67.

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    Keywords

    Money supply ; Financial crises;

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