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History of U.S. Treasury Auctions

The Treasury Department has used auctions for Treasury bills since their introduction in 1929. Since then, the major modifications to bill auctions have been a provision for noncompetitive bids in 1947 and a change in 1983 to receive bids on the basis of yield (bank discount basis) rather than price.

Prior to the early 1970's, the traditional methods for selling notes and bonds were subscription offerings, exchange offerings, and advance refundings. A modified auction technique was introduced in 1970 in which the interest rate was still preset by the Treasury, and bids were made on the basis of price.

Today, all marketable securities are sold in auctions and all Treasury auctions are conducted on a yield basis. Treasury sells the entire announced amount of each security offered at the yield or yields determined in the auction. In 2008, the bidding minimum was lowered from $1,000 to $100 for all marketable securities.

Timeline of U.S. Treasury Auctions

View historical information regarding U.S. Treasury Auctions.

Other Resources

For more information on U.S. Treasury Auctions, select one of the resources below: