The following appeared on page 2C of the March 22, 2008 edition of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The Treasury Department deals in millions and billions and even trillions of dollars, but it can think small, too.
Officials announced Friday that starting next month, individuals will be able to buy Treasury securities in amounts as small as $100, down from the current minimum of $1,000.
The chane will take effect for the weekly auction of three-month and six-month Treasury bills that will be held on April 7.
The Treasury Department said the reduction in minimum bid amounts is being made possible by an improved processing system for government debt auctions. The hoe is that the reduction will attract smaller investors.
"U.S. Treasury securities, the world's safest, most liquid investments, should be accessible to the broadest universe of investors - large and small," said Anthony Ryan, assistant Treasury secretary for financial markets. "Being able to buy securities in $100 increments adds a new degree of flexibility for all market participants."
The reduction in the minimum sales amount is the first to occur since 1998, when the pruchase amount was cut to $1,000. Prior to that time, the minimum purcashe amount had been $10,000 for Treasury bills, which are securities with a maturity of one year or less, and $5,000 for Treasury notes witha maturity of up to four years.
Individuals can purchase Treasury securities directly from the Treasury Department by going to treasurydirect.gov to open an online account. - Associated Press