The Federal Reserve is the bank of banks in the US. While it cannot force banks to change their rates in order to monitor the economy, it has several other ways to influence. One way it by printing money.

Please forgive my questions, whose answers seem easy to be found online. It's a hot topic, so it's very hard to get validated information.


  1. Is the amount of money printed open knowledge?
  2. Where to get a history profile of how much money has been printed by the Fed?
  3. How validated is the info you provide, and in what sense?

1 Answer 1


The Fed’s liabilities (technically broader than the true monetary base but arguably more relevant depending on your definition of “money printing”) are released weekly in their H.4.1 release. They appear in Table 4. Right now they are about 6.3 trillion dollars, up almost 2.4 trillion from a year ago.

They’re “validated” in the sense that the Fed has internal controls, external third-party auditors, and is subject to regular Congressional oversight.

Yes, you can find a time series from the St. Louis Fed’s FRED service.

  • $\begingroup$ The earliest release I found in their H.4.1 was on 1996 June 27, whereas the earliest data on the St. Louis Fed's FRED service was in the end of 2002. Is it possible to get a complete history, or at least from 1913 Dec 23? $\endgroup$
    – Student
    Apr 23, 2020 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ I was not aware of several possible definitions of "printing money". Are there other ways to measure how much they print? $\endgroup$
    – Student
    Apr 23, 2020 at 18:32
  • $\begingroup$ Brian’s reference to the H.3 covers the formal definition of “base money” $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2020 at 18:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Student I don’t know about 1913, but you can get closer using a recently discontinued series: fred.stlouisfed.org/series/AMBSL $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2020 at 18:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ fred.stlouisfed.org/graph/?g=rLYw suggests (after adjusting for a millions/billion difference, the two series AMBSL and BOGMBASE had been similar since about 1990 to November 2019 though perhaps less so in the 1960s; if you switched from one to the other in say 1991, you may be able to get from 1921 to now $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Jun 18, 2020 at 0:03

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