The Federal Reserve has earned $14 billion of profits on its hundreds of billions of dollars of loans during the financial crisis.
That’s according to the Fed’s internal estimate, obtained by the Financial Times.
That estimate represents the difference between the fees and interest payments the Fed garnered from its loans and the interest payments it would have received if it had invested in three-month Treasury bills instead.
The Fed’s calculations cover the full two years of the credit crisis.
The way it shakes out is that the Fed chalked up $19 billion in income from interest payments and fees charged to banks and investors that borrowed its money during the meltdown.
If the Fed had put its money into T-bills, it would have received $5 billion.
The Fed wasn’t the only government body to make money off the financial crisis. The Treasury has made about $4 billion off the investments it made into failing banks, according to The New York Times.
Those profits came from banks that fully repaid the money they received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).
On an annualized basis, the $4 billion amounts to a 15 percent return, one that would make even Warren Buffett (not to mention Bernie Madoff) proud.
That profit will certainly please the public.
“The taxpayers want their money back, and they want the government out of our banking business,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., told The New York Times.
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