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FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet rocketed past $5 trillion in assets for the first time this week as it scooped up bonds and extended loans to banks, mutual funds and other central banks in its unprecedented effort to backstop the economy in the face of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The Fed’s total balance sheet size exploded by more than half a trillion dollars in a single week, roughly twice the pace of the next-largest weekly expansion in the financial crisis in October 2008. As of Wednesday, the Fed’s stash of assets totaled $5.3 trillion, according to data released on Thursday.

Reporting By Dan Burns; Editing by Chris Reese

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currensceneFLOGO WHTsquareThough not the oldest form of currency, some form of shell money appears to have been found on almost every continent. The shell most widely used worldwide as currency was the shell of Cypraea moneta, the money cowry.

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