September 6, 2012 / 7:38 PM / 5 years ago

Value of Bernanke's personal assets held steady in 2011

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may be wealthy according to the standards of most Americans, but the assets he held last year were valued well below those of some of his colleagues on the U.S. central bank’s board.

Bernanke’s assets were listed as being worth between $1.07 million and $2.28 million, unchanged from the year before, according to financial statements for 2011 released on Thursday. By comparison, the Fed’s vice chair, Janet Yellen, held assets worth between $4.43 million and $12.44 million, down slightly from 2010.

U.S. stock prices swung sharply during the course of 2011, though the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended the year virtually unchanged. The index has since climbed steadily, helped by aggressive Fed action to bolster fragile U.S. growth.

The legally required annual disclosures by Fed board members incorporate the assets of members’ spouses and their dependent children, but give only broad ranges for various assets, not precise dollar amounts.

Elizabeth Duke, a former banker, had assets worth between $4.07 million and $9.60 million. Assets held by Sarah Bloom Raskin were valued between $1.37 million and $3.73 million, and Daniel Tarullo had assets valued between $1.34 million and $3.55 million.

Financial disclosure forms for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governor’s two most recent additions, former investment banker Jerome Powell and Harvard economist Jeremy Stein, were previously released as part of their Senate confirmation process.

Bernanke, like many other U.S. home owners, also took advantage of historically low interest rates to refinance his home last year, confirming news reports back in December.

The documents showed that the chairman, who lives in the District of Columbia, lowered the rate on his 30-year mortgage to 4.25 percent from 5.375 percent. The disclosure stated the home loan was worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

Reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Leslie Adler

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