The Federal Reserve: The Biggest Hedge Fund Ever

This post by Jill Schlesinger originally appeared on CBS'

Thanks to WINA radio in Charlottesville, VA for pointing out today's Washington Post story on the Fed's record $45 billion profit in 2009.


When we discussed the profits on air, I noted that while taxpayers are always happy to collect a profit, the Fed also benefited from a little bit of luck. Had things gone differently, we would be feeling the pain of losses and wondering what kind of reckless behavior was allowed to occur under Chairman Bernanke.

With the official results in, it's pretty obvious that in 2009, the Fed became the largest hedge fund in the world, taking massive risks that paid off - at least for a year.

More on MoneyWatch:
Investors: Best Way to Track the Market
Lessons from Morningstar's Top Fund Managers
Should You Go to Grad School?
7 New Gadgets You Need Now
Cher's Hawaiian Paradise For Sale
15 Best and Worst Jobs of 2010

Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.
  • Jill Schlesinger On Twitter»

    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.


Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App