13 Jan 2010

Federal Reserve makes record $52b profit

3:08 pm on 13 January 2010

Figures from the United States central bank, the Federal Reserve, show it made a record profit of profit of $US52.1 billion last year.

These earnings, which are higher than in any of the other 96 years of the bank's existence, have enabled it to pass on another record amount of $US46 billion to the US Treasury.

The record figure was largely thanks to its attempts to support the financial system throughout the ongoing financial crisis, the BBC reports.

The Fed earned money as private sector banks and other firms such as carmakers paid interest on emergency loans that saved them from collapse.

Some of the profit has come from interest earned on government bonds and mortgage-related securities - including those of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The figures suggest that US taxpayers have, so far, gained money from the US government's action in propping up the system, the BBC says.