Everyone Forgets That China's Central Bank Balance Sheet Is Bigger Than The Fed's Or ECB's

central bank balance sheet

Photo: Business Insider

Business Insider ran a series recently of charts from a number of different economists and strategists.  These Great Graphics  come from that series and are essentially different renditions of the same data.  We are looking at the balance sheets of a number of central banks.  One of the features of the policy response to the end of the credit cycle has been the employment of a number of central bank balance sheets.   China is an exception as the expansion of its balance sheet is driven by its exchange rate policy.  When it buys dollars, it sells yuan bills.   Few observers seem to recognise it, but the balance sheet of the People’s Bank of China has actually grown more than the Federal Reserve’s or the ECB’s balance sheet.  

We have suggested a historic parallel.  The Great Depression resulted in the permanent use of the government’s balance sheet to underwrite aggregate demand.  The Great Recession has seen the deployment of central bank balance sheets.  This too seem to be a quasi-permanent development. 

central bank balance sheet

Photo: Business Insider

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