Financial Update (October-December 1998)


Cover Story

Credit Unions

Guynn Speech

Treasury Securities on the Internet

New Quarters and $20 Bills

EFT 99


Year 2000

Did You Know?

Data Bank

The Docket

Treasury Securities Offered
In Smaller Amounts

I nvesting in Treasury securities just got easier — and cheaper too — as the U.S. Treasury Department lowered the minimum investment to $1,000.

In August, the Treasury Department's Bureau of Public Debt began selling short-term Treasury bills and notes to the public in minimum amounts of $1,000. Previously, the minimum amount was $10,000 for short-term Treasury bills and $5,000 for notes with a maturity of two years or fewer. Long-term investments, such as 30-year bonds and longer-maturity notes, will continue to be available in $1,000 amounts.

Purchases by Internet or Phone

Since September, investors have been able to purchase Treasury securities via the Internet (see sidebar). Additionally, beginning in October, investors will be able to buy Treasury securities by dialing the Bureau of Public Debt at 1-800-943-6864. After calling in, investors can follow a simple, interactive menu that gives information about securities that are available and instructions for completing transactions. Investors using this Buy Direct system will authorize the Bureau of Public Debt to charge their bank account on the day the securities are issued.

Using the Buy Direct system, investors will be able to submit only noncompetitive bids for securities — that is, bids on which the investor agrees to accept a rate determined by the Treasury auction. In return, investors are guaranteed the volume and denomination of securities they want. Most Buy Direct services will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays.

Investors who want to reinvest securities that are approaching maturity can do so via the Buy Direct system seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The Buy Direct system will also allow investors to request a statement of their account, check account balances and order duplicate IRS 1099-INT forms.

Investors who prefer to purchase bills, notes and bonds by mail can still use the Pay Direct option, which allows the Bureau of Public Debt to charge an investor's bank account for the price of the securities purchased.

Invest on the Net


nvestors who have a Treasury Direct account can now purchase Treasury bills, notes and bonds over the Internet from the Bureau of Public Debt's World-Wide Web site using the new Buy Direct service.

Easy Internet Access

From a personal computer with Internet access, an investor can enter the "virtual lobby" of the Bureau of Public Debt's Web site, The virtual lobby is an area within the site that provides access to purchase Treasury securities.

In the virtual lobby, investors can indicate which securities they wish to buy and then authorize the Bureau of Public Debt to charge their bank account for the purchase price. Investors will receive a confirmation number, and their bank account will be debited on the day each security is issued.

Previously, investors could buy securities only by submitting bids at a Federal Reserve Servicing Office or the Bureau of Public Debt's Capital Area Servicing Office, by mail, or through a financial institution or government securities broker or dealer. All of these purchase options remain viable.

Secure Transactions

To ensure that Buy Direct transactions are secure, investor information is encrypted. In addition, because only people with established Treasury Direct accounts can enter the virtual lobby, using Buy Direct to purchase securities requires very little personal information from the investor.

For additional information, see the frequently asked questions section on the Bureau of Public Debt's Internet site at