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Historical Charts of Debt From 1791-1950
These charts were developed from the Historical Debt page of the Treasury
These charts may look somewhat similar but pay particular attention to the numbers on the Y axis on the left hand side.  All scales are in millions but they range from a low of 33 thousand in 1835 to the high of 269 billion in 1946.
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
Microsoft Excel Worksheet
For a current chart of debt from 1950-2005 Click Here

Historical Charts of M3 (anchor)

Microsoft Excel Worksheet

The above chart might make one wonder if the early Fed meetings weren't as much about damage control as they were about setting up the Fed.  It is nteresting to note the angles of assent (and Y axes) of the overlapping years of the chart above and below.
Fed history link http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2003/2003-006.pdf

Microsoft Excel Worksheet

Money supply doubled between 1914 (beginning of the Federal Resserve Act) and 1920.  

Microsoft Excel Worksheet

Click here for a chart of M3 1948-2005

 Don't get me wrong.  I am not predicting the future.  But if I had done the same projection at the end of 1968, and went back to 1959, and projected the rate of increase of those 10 years forward to 2004 using the same Excel tool, it would have only missed the mark by a couple of years, over a 35 year projection.

Microsoft Excel Worksheet

Unless you consider the Y axis very carefully logarithmic charts like the one below may obscure the exponential picture, but our housing market seems to reflect it quite well.

Microsoft Excel Worksheet