The 100 Year Federal Reserve Data Set
An Incredible Record of Monetary History
The 100 Year Federal Reserve Data Set is a comprehensive record of Federal Reserve balance sheet data spanning the past 100 years. It's a rare and untapped research asset that can help you create groundbreaking research.
Available in Excel and CSV formats.
The Power of Monetary Analysis:
We believe that monetary analysis is really important. Money is all pervasive in an economy. It touches each and every transaction and exerts an influence on all prices. And yet it's also a subject that few understand well. Humphrey B. Neill put it well in his book, The Art of Contrary thinking:
...because monetary problems are not comprehended by the public or by the average businessman, “money management” will continually cross up public opinions concerning economic trends.
Monetary manipulation is a crafty and tricky tool within a system of bootstrap economics. If you make it a point to become posted on some of the more common practices of monetary management you will occasionally be able to discern trends that are opposite to those commonly discussed in public pronouncements and business stories.
This data set is the crown jewels of monetary data sets. It spans a century full of interesting market events where the US Dollar rose to become the world's reserve currency. The data set is weekly* and starts in April 1915 (just two years after the founding of the Federal Reserve).
How we got the data:
Compiling this data set took enormous man hours, patience and diligence.
Although the data is freely available at the St Louis Fed, it's in a very unwieldy form. Here's why:
- Each month of data is in a separate pdf report (the Federal Reserve bulletin report for that month). So for a century of data that means there's 1,200 reports to open!
- The reports are old documents and they're often imperfectly scanned (the copy and paste functionality on your computer will rarely work correctly because of this).
- The reports span a long period of time and the layout and structure is inconsistent.
The above reasons make collection via automated computer processes virtually impossible, leaving manual collection as the only practical solution. We ended up poring through thousands of Federal Reserve bulletin reports, diligently checking and copying figures, to put this data set together.
Estimated costs of compiling this data set:
Using a junior analyst or intern
Let's say that you have a junior analyst or intern at your firm and you would like them to put this data set together. Here's what your costs might look like:
Hiring a temporary analyst
Alternatively suppose you hire an analyst specifically to put this historical data set together. Here's what your costs might look like:
How to get the data:
|ASSETS||1915 - 1930||1930 - 1936||1936 - 1960||1961 - 2011|
|Special Drawing Rights|
|Liquidity & Credit Facilities|
|Federal Agency Obligations Bought|
|Federal Agency Obligations held under repurchase agreements|
|Reserves other than gold|
|Bills discounted and loans|
|Bills discounted and bought|
|Short-term US Government Securities|
|Long-term US Government Securities|
|US Government Securities held under repurchase agreements|
|Due from Fed Banks (in transit)|
|Cash items in the process of collection|
|Foreign Currency Assets|
|All other assets|
|LIABILITIES||1915 - 1930||1930 - 1936||1936 - 1960||1961 - 2011|
|Federal reserve notes|
|Capital paid in|
|Deferred availability items|
|All other liabilities|
Source: Federal Reserve Bulletins, Federal Reserve Archival System for Economic Research, St Louis Fed.
Some of our customers:
* The data is monthly between Jan 1930 and September 1936 due to the format of the source publications between those dates.
** Data after 2011 is freely available at the Federal Reserve website.