Figures released yesterday by the U.S. Treasury show that taxpayers collected a total of $12.9 billion in May from the investment and sales of the agency’s mortgage-backed securities (MBS) portfolio. 

Of that $12.9 billion, $10.5 billion came from Treasury sales of MBS assets alone and $2.4 billion was accrued through principal and interest payments.

This brings the total proceeds made by taxpayers on this investment to $133.8 billion since 2008.  $24.6 billion of that total amount was collected through MBS asset sales and $109.2 billion was received through principal and interest payments.

As detailed in the Treasury report, the sale of MBS assets began in March 2011 as a part of the Treasury’s continued efforts to slowly dismantle the emergency financial response programs that were established during the crisis in 2008 and 2009. The Treasury purchased $225 billion worth of MBS assets in order to stabilize the erratic markets and maintain availability of mortgage credit. 

The MBS market has improved considerably since then and  the Treasury department has made back 59% ($133.8 billion) of its original investment to date. The Treasury said in a press statement that it expects to make a net profit for taxpayers if current market conditions continue to improve.

The Treasury said it also plans to continue selling up to $10 billion worth of MBS assets per month, contingent upon stable market conditions.  The remaining balance in the MBS portfolio is down 45% from a high of $192 million in December 2009.   

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