The U.S. Federal Reserve's program to keep mortgage rates low by buying securities and Treasury bonds so far has been costly and seems to be having a fleeting impact.

An analysis of the timing of the Fed's purchases of mortgage-backed securities by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. shows the Fed is "under water" on its portfolio by about 1%, and it would have to take about $5 billion in losses if it were to mark its portfolio to the market.

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