In 2018, markets were acutely focused on the path of interest rate hikes. Today, with the “patient” Fed set to leave interest rates unchanged, attention has shifted to the Fed’s balance sheet. During the Great Recession of 2007/2008, global economies were threatened with excess debt after being propped up by years of easy credit that was rapidly becoming illiquid. Central banks across the globe embarked on a program of huge interest rate cuts and historically unique purchases of deteriorating assets known as “quantitative easing.” Following the post-2008 recessionary period, the Fed’s balance sheet expanded to roughly $4.5 trillion over the next several years, becoming larger than at any time in history, both in total dollars and as a percentage of the U.S. economy.