The Fed Balance Sheet: What is Uncle Sam’s Largest Asset?


by Doug Short, Financial Sense:

Pop Quiz! Without recourse to your text, your notes or a Google search, what line item is the largest asset on Uncle Sam’s balance sheet?

  1. U.S. Official Reserve Assets
  2. Total Mortgages
  3. Taxes Receivable
  4. Student Loans

The correct answer, as of the latest Flow of Funds report is … Student Loans.

The rapid growth in student debt has been a frequent topic in the financial press. One stunning chart that caught my attention illustrated the rapid growth in federal loans to students since the onset of the great recession. Here is a chart based on data from the Flow of Funds Table L.105, which shows the Federal Government’s assets and liabilities.

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