Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, September 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference at the Federal Reserve, September 18, 2013 in Washington, D.C. - 
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This final note today, one last taper-related item.

You've heard the phrase 'the Fed's balance sheet' a lot since the worst of the financial crisis.

In other words, a measure of exactly how much cash the Fed's been trying to add to the economy by buying bonds and other securities.

As of the close of business yesterday, the Fed held on its books $4.04 trillion in assets.

Back in 2008 -- before the apocalypse -- about $800 million.

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal