Reproduced from BofA Global Research; Note: Banks included are US Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, Bank of England, Bank of China and Reserve Bank of Australia; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the end of this year, analysts at Bank of America Global Research estimate the Fed's balance sheet will have risen to nearly $10 trillion and the world's six largest central banks will have taken their holdings from around $15 trillion to $25 trillion worth of assets.

The big picture: The Fed now has the largest balance sheet of all central banks, having surpassed the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan.

  • The U.S. central bank's holdings are now equal to 34% of U.S. GDP and are expected to reach 48% by year-end, according to BofA's data.

State of play: To put the size of Fed asset purchases this year into perspective, BofA analysts note that "a few weeks ago it was buying the same quantity per day as it was per month during the [global financial crisis]."

What they're saying: This is "monetary policymaking on steroids," Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors, says in a note to clients.

  • "This evolving, new approach to monetary policy during a crisis may never be walked back."

Why it matters: We could already be seeing the Fed's impact.

  • The stock market, bond market and rising home values may be evidence of distortions and asset price bubbles rather than a reflection of confidence or an expected rebound for the economy.

The bottom line: "The disconnect between an investment’s underlying fundamentals and its price make investors uneasy," Arone says.

  • "As a result of the Fed’s new programs, this tension is now most evident in the credit markets. Sadly, investors may have no choice but to dive in."

Go deeper: The Fed's coronavirus response could have unintended results

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 13, 2020 - Economy & Business

Inflation rising fast after second-quarter collapse

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

The consumer price index rose 0.6% last month for the second straight time, with gasoline accounting for a quarter of the gain. Core CPI, which strips out food and energy prices, jumped by 0.6%, marking the biggest gain since January 1991.

Why it matters: The back-to-back CPI increases combined with Tuesday's bounce back producer price index reading, suggest inflation is far from dead.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: New York reports most COVID cases since MayStudies show drop in coronavirus death rate — The next wave is gaining steam.
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  5. World: Spain becomes first nation in Western Europe to exceed 1 million cases.
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The Justice Department filed a 63-page antitrust lawsuit against Google related to the tech giant's search and advertising business. This comes just weeks after the House subcommittee on antitrust issued its own scathing report on Google and other Big Tech companies, arguing they've become digital monopolies.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the subcommittee on antitrust, about Google, the DOJ's lawsuit and Congress' next move.