Federal Reserve earned $45 billion in 2009
By Neil Irwin Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Full article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/11/AR2...
The Federal Reserve made record profits in 2009, as its unconventional efforts to prop up the economy created a windfall for the government. The Fed will return about $45 billion to the U.S. Treasury for 2009, according to calculations by The Washington Post based on public documents. That reflects the highest earnings in the 96-year history of the central bank. The Fed, unlike most government agencies, funds itself from its own operations and returns its profits to the Treasury -[al]though there remains a risk of significant losses in the future if the Fed sells some of its investments or loses money on its stakes in bailed-out firms.
As it happens, the Fed's earnings for the year will dwarf those of the large banks, easily topping the expected profits of Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase combined.
And while the central bank in its most recent financial report had recorded a $3.8 billion decline in the value of loans it made in bailing out the investment bank Bear Stearns and the insurer American International Group, the Fed also logged $4.7 billion in interest payments from those loans. Further losses -- or gains -- on the two bailouts are possible as time goes by. The Fed also charges fees for operating the plumbing of the financial system, such as clearing checks and electronic payments between banks.
Who says being The Federal Reserve, America's private banker, doesn't pay! How about just saying "a license to steal from the American people!" Glenn Beck says the Federal Reserve's profit was 51.2 Billion for 2009!