March 14 The Federal Reserve pumped $79.6
billion into the U.S. Treasury last year, audited results showed
on Friday, a big payday for the government thanks to the central
bank's massive bond-buying program.
The income derived largely from $90.4 billion in interest on
Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities. Total Fed bank
assets stood at $4 trillion at the end of last year.
Preliminary results released in January showed profits of
$77.7 billion in 2013.
The central bank has bought trillions of dollars of
Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to boost investment
Last December, in a nod to better growth, it decided to
start drawing its latest bond-buying program to a close,
reducing what had been $85 billion in bond purchases per month
in small increments.
It now buys $65 billion in bonds a month and is set to
reduce the monthly purchases by another $10 billion when Fed
officials meet next week.
The Fed regularly transfers its profits, known as
remittances, to the Treasury in what amounts to payments to U.S.
taxpayers. Those profits could turn to losses in the years
ahead, however, if the Fed sells assets as interest rates rise.
The Fed had interest expenses on depository institutions'
reserve balances totalling $5.2 billion in 2013, the Fed said.