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History of U.S. Treasury Bills

Treasury bills are short-term securities with original-issue maturities of 4, 8, 13, 17, 26, or 52 weeks; and cash management bills, whose maturities vary. The first bill issued on a regular basis was the 13-week bill, beginning in December 1929.

By 1972, there were regular issues of 13, 26, and 52- week bills. Cash management bills are issued to bridge seasonal low-points in the Treasury cash balance. They were first introduced in 1974 to raise cash for a few days or several months.  Four-week bills were introduced in 2001, eight-week bills were introduced in 2018, and seventeen-week bills were introduced in October 2022.

In 2008, Treasury announced the introduction of the Supplementary Financing Program to provide supplementary funding to the Federal Reserve to offset financial pressures from liquidity programs during the financial crisis.  This program auctioned a series of Treasury bills, apart from Treasury’s borrowing program. Today, U.S. Treasury Bills are auctioned regularly to continue to finance the nation’s public debt.

Timeline of U.S. Treasury Bills

View historical information regarding U.S. Treasury Bills.

Other Resources

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