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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.

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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.