Report: Fed to post about $45B in 2009 profits

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WASINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve made record profits last year of about $45 billion that will be returned to the coffers at the U.S. Treasury, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The Post said the figure, which it said was according to its own calculations based on public records, would be the highest earnings in the Fed’s 96-year history.

The newspaper noted that much of the profits came about because of the Fed’s program of buying bonds with the aim of driving down interest rates and fueling growth in the hobbled U.S. economy.

The Fed’s balance sheet — a broad measure that tracks the central bank’s lending — stands at about $2.2 trillion, more than double the level before the economic crisis struck in the fall of 2008.