Deteriorating Balance Sheet at the Fed

This chart with data from late September 2008 shows how sharply the balance sheet of the Federal Reserve had deterioriated towards the end of that month. Though the initial "Paulson Plan" was styled as a rescue of the banks, it was primarily a recapitalization of the Federal Reserve. The imminent demise of the US central bank was among the terrors evoked by US officials in their demand that Congress pass the legislation immediately.