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Fed Balance Sheet vs S&P500

Posted August 2020

The balance sheet of the Federal Reserve (shown on right axis) has increased very substantially in 2020. After the Fed cut interest rates to zero, there is a very limited amount of actions they can take to further juice the economy. Quantitative Easing is one such action. By expanding its own balance sheet, the Fed floods the economy with additional cash, lowering interest rates and propping up markets. The QE taken in 2020 very clearly aligns with the S&P500 recovery. This suggests that the economy isn't actually doing as well as the S&P500 suggests, and raises serious concern over the sustainability of the current stock market performance. How much additional QE is possible?

Fed Balance Sheet vs S&P500

Data Sources

The below table cites all data and sources used in constructing the charts, or otherwise referred to, on this page.

Item Source
S&P500 Price Yahoo! Finance S&P500 Daily Close Values
Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Assets: Total Assets: Total Assets (Less Eliminations from Consolidation): Wednesday Level [WALCL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;