Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fed Chart Potpourri…

Perusing the St. Louis Fed chart updates, I ran across a few recently updated charts that I think are worth sharing. Without further ado and in no particular order…

Take a look at the year over year change in Total Loans and Leases! As you go through these charts, try adding up the billions negative in just the past year:

Retail Money Funds:

Institutional Money Funds:

Commercial Paper Outstanding, down more than a Trillion dollars since late ’07:

Asset Backed Commercial Paper, two-thirds of it gone (applause):

Business Loans - change from one year ago, almost $300 Billion:

M2 change from one year ago in billions. Hmmm. Money is debt so say the central banks:

MZM change from one year ago in billions:

I think this Inventory to Sales ratio chart is interesting. Compare the 2000 – 2002 recession to this one. Note that inventory to sales has been overall coming down, meaning less inventory per sales level which means more efficient, right? But then at the beginning of recession, inventories build, sales slow, and the ratio climbs until businesses correct and let the inventory adjust downward. But I may ask the question, are we seeing efficiency, or are we seeing a DEBT related phenomena where companies cannot AFFORD to carry more inventory? Looks efficient, but then again, I’m sure a business selling off inventory just before filing bankruptcy would produce good looking ratios in this arena too? Hmmm.

Finally, the chart of housing starts seems to have stabilized somewhat near the historic lows. No ‘v’ bottom there, hopefully it will stay down long enough for inventories to adjust. Again, I think there’s a ton of shadow inventory still and the pent up demand is not from buyers, its from sellers who would like to escape from underwater mortages: