“The last time the Fed reported net operating losses was in 1915.”

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The Fed Is Losing Money And You’re Going To Foot The Bill.

According to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly report for Q2, the central bank reported a loss of $57.3 billion through the first half of the year. The Fed is on pace to lose over $100 billion in 2023.

Rising interest rates are a big problem for the Fed, as they are for other banks. The central bank earns interest income on the bonds it holds on its balance sheet. But the Fed also pays out interest to other financial institutions that park money there. The bonds it bought during multiple rounds of quantitative easing (QE) and still holds on its balance sheet were relatively low-yielding. But with rates much higher today, it is paying out interest at a much higher rate.

According to the Fed report, as of June 30, the central bank held roughly $5.5 trillion in US Treasuries with an average yield of 1.96%. It also held $2.6 trillion of mortgage-backed securities with an average yield of 2.20%. Meanwhile, the average interest rate the Fed paid on money it held, along with repo agreements and other operations averaged around 5%.

Under the Fed’s charter, the Fed remits its profits to the US Treasury. This helps pay down the massive federal budget deficits. When the Fed loses money, the Treasury loses its payday. That means even bigger budget deficits.

h/t Stephen Green

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