Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Reaction: The Fed's Document Dump

The amount of data just dumped by the Federal Reserve is mind-boggling as to its size, the number of transactions conducted by the Fed and the broad scope of parties dealt with.

As expected, there are dealings with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase etc. There were also significant dealings with the Bank of England, the Swiss National Bank and the European Central Bank.

The oddest details that have caught my eye so far: The Fed did heavy buying of Harley-Davidson commercial paper and also some McDoanld's commercial paper. Did Ben expect the eminent end to the "Happy Meal"?

There's a lot of data here, so it is going to take significant time to process and get a picture as to what the Fed was up to, and gross sums for individual entities. But it looks like Bennie bought anything that could be considered paper, except for wall paper.


For anyone who wants to take a look at the raw data, here it is. For actual numbers click on the categories on the right side. If you spot anything interesting, please let me know.


  1. It is indeed a deluge. Of course, I zeroed in on the MBS program, and the Fed has given actual prices on what looks like every purchase and sale, which I did not expect. Someone with resources greater than me will undoubtedly reconcile with then-current prices. Then, I looked at Maiden Lane, a much skimpier presentation by far. In fact, all it does is regurgitate a subset of the data already on the NY Fed's website, with no data prior to Sep 30, 2008 (ML was funded in June, 2007). It remains to be seen, then, if BlackRock was simply stuffing the SOMA with ML assets. Looking at the primary dealer credit facility, the collateral taken in by the Fed is appalling: $2.174 trillion in stocks alone, with a minimal hair cut. As the Lehman bankruptcy docs demonstrated, many of these stocks were for bankrupt companies themselves!

  2. Bob, Maiden Lane was funded in June 2008, not 2007.

  3. Thanks for correcting an embarrassing error here. The released data are still scant and missing important details from the quarter ended June 2008 (even if the inception of June 26 was very close to its end).