HAVEN'T WE MET?: The Federal Reserve paid the federal government a record $88.9 billion in 2012, almost 18 percent more than a year ago. The previous record was $79.3 billion in 2010.
BOND SHARPIE: The central bank earned the money in part from the Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities it has purchased to drive interest rates lower and boost the economy.
THOSE WERE THE DAYS: Before it launched the first bond buying program in 2008, its annual payments had averaged below $30 billion for the previous three years.