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Investments / The Ticker

Fed balance sheet hits record $3 trillion in assets

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For the first time, the Federal Reserve pushed its balance sheet beyond $3 trillion in assets.

Holding of Treasuries rose to $1.7 trillion from $1.69 trillion a week earlier and mortgage-backed securities also rose to $983.17 billion from $948.61 billion last week.

Holdings of agency securities rose to $308.11 billion, up from the prior week's $306.74 billion

Click on the chart to view the Fed’s balance sheet.

On Jan. 11, the Fed paid the government a record 488.9 billion in 2012, reaping gains from Treasury bonds and MBS purchases.

The Fed net income was $91 billion, of which it sent $88.9 billion to the Treasury. The largest portion of the Fed’s revenue was derived primarily from $80.5 billion in interest paid on MBS and Treasuries that were purchased, according to Fed preliminary unaudited results.

In December, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to continue to purchase additional agency MBS at a pace of $40 billion per month. The Committee also decided to purchase long-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month. 

The FOMC minutes revealed that Fed policy makers are likely to slow monthly purchases of $85 billion in mortgage bonds and Treasurys sometime in 2013. 

The minutes provided a timeline, indicating the order in which the Fed will wind down its open-ended third round of quantitative easing, which so far is making the government big profits.

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