The U.S. Federal Reserve has paid approximately 76.9 billion dollars of its estimated 2011 net income to the U.S. Treasury, the central bank said in a statement Tuesday.
The amount was the second highest in history, only three percent down from the 2010 record payment of 79.3 billion dollars.
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The statement said the Fed's 2011 net income of 78.9 billion dollars primarily came from 83.6 billion interest income on securities acquired through open market operations. Additional earnings were derived from realized gains on the sale of U.S. Treasury securities of 2.3 billion dollars.
The reserve banks paid 3.8 billion dollars interest on depository institutions' reserve balances and term deposits, the statement said.
Under the Fed policy, the 12 Federal Reserve banks pay their residual earnings to the Treasury after covering certain expenses, including costs of operations and payment of dividends.
The Fed said the numbers were preliminary and based on unaudited results. Final results would be presented in the central bank's annual audited financial statements and the Board of Governors' annual report.