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Renita Jablonski: The one-year T-bill is back today. For the first time since 2001, the government will sell 52-week debt — $16 billion of it. From New York, Jill Barshay takes a look at why.
Jill Barshay: Uncle Sam retired the one-year T-bill back in 2001 after a string of surpluses. But a lot’s changed since then.
Lou Crandall: In the case of the year bill, they’re bringing it back purely and simply because the Treasury needs the money.
That’s Lou Crandall. He’s the chief economist at Wrightson ICAP. He says the budget is approaching a record deficit because tax receipts are way down with the soft economy. The government needs money so badly it may bring other old school Treasuries back from the dead.
Crandall: It’s conceivable that either a three-year or a seven-year note might be slipped back in.
The biggest buyers of the one-year T-bill used to be foreign central banks. But everyone from hedge funds to pensions is hungry for safe, short-term debt right now. Crandall says investors don’t want to tie their money up in these uncertain times.
In New York, I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.
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