Federal Reserve’s Asset Purchases Will Lose Government Hundreds of Billions of Dollars if Interest Rates Abruptly Rise

by Colonel on February 26, 2013

“Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s efforts to rescue the economy could result in more than a half trillion dollars of paper losses on the central bank’s books if interest rates rise abruptly from recent levels.

That sum is the difference between the value of securities in the Fed’s portfolio on Dec. 31 and what they may fetch in three years, according to data compiled by MSCI Inc. of New York for Bloomberg News. …

MSCI sees the market value of Fed holdings shrinking by $547 billion over three years under an adverse scenario that includes an economic contraction and rising inflation. MSCI puts the Fed’s mark-to-market loss at less than half that, or $216 billion, if the economy performs in line with consensus forecasts of gradually rising growth, inflation and interest rates.

The potential losses are unprecedented.

” — Craig Torres, Josh Zumbrun & Caroline Salas Gage, Copyright 2013 Bloomberg LP

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