The Fed’s Growing Balance Sheet

Over the last two weeks, the Federal Reserve has added over $500B a week to its balance sheet.

Until March 2020, the largest weekly increase in the Fed Balance sheet was $292 billion (October 2008). There were two weeks in October 2008 that saw the Fed’s balance sheet increase more than $200 billion. Until March 2020, these were the only two weeks that saw the Fed’s balance sheet increase by more than $200 billion.

In just the last two weeks, the Fed has increased their holdings of U.S. Treasuries by $700B, mortgage-backed securities (MBS) by $91B, loans by $101B and swaps with foreign central banks by $348B. This doesn’t include another $162B purchased on April 2nd and April 3rd.

The Fed balance sheet has increased $1.143 trillion over the last two weeks and just under $1.5 trillion over the last three weeks. The balance sheet has increased by almost 25 percent in the last two weeks, and 35 percent in three weeks.