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Treasury Securities

Treasury securities are government bonds issued by the United States Department of the Treasury through the Bureau of the Public Debt. They are the debt financing instruments of the U.S. Federal government, and they are often referred to simply as Treasuries or Treasurys.

There are four types of marketable treasury securities: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS).

There are several types of non-marketable treasury securities including State and Local Government Series (SLGS), Government Account Series debt issued to government-managed trust funds, and savings bonds.

All of the marketable Treasury securities are very liquid and are heavily traded on the secondary market. The non-marketable securities (such as savings bonds) are issued to subscribers and cannot be transferred through market sales.

Treasury bills (or T-bills) mature in one year or less. Like zero-coupon bonds, they do not pay interest prior to maturity; instead they are sold at a discount of the par value to create a positive yield to maturity. Many regard Treasury bills as the least risky investment available to U.S. investors.
Treasury notes (or T-Notes) mature in two to ten years. They have a coupon payment every six months, and are commonly issued with maturities dates of 2, 5 or 10 years, for denominations from $100 to $1,000,000.

Treasury bonds (T-Bonds, or the long bond) have the longest maturity, from ten years to thirty years. They have coupon payment every six months like T-Notes, and are commonly issued with maturity of thirty years. The secondary market is highly liquid, so the yield on the most recent T-Bond offering was commonly used as a proxy for long-term interest rates in general. This role has largely been taken over by the 10-year note, as the size and frequency of long-term bond issues declined significantly in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (or TIPS) are the inflation-indexed bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury. These securities were first issued in 1997. The principal is adjusted to the Consumer Price Index, the commonly used measure of inflation. The coupon rate is constant, but generates a different amount of interest when multiplied by the inflation-adjusted principal, thus protecting the holder against inflation. TIPS are currently offered in 5-year, 7-year, 10-year and 20-year maturities. 30-year TIPS are no longer offered.
Series EE savings bonds are issued at 50% of their face value and reach final maturity 30 years from issuance. Interest is paid semiannually and added to the current value of the bond. They are designed to reach face value in approximately 17 years although an investor can hold them for up to 30 years and continue to accrue interest.
Series I savings bonds are issued at face value and have a variable yield based on inflation. The interest rate consists of two components: the first is a fixed rate which will remain constant over the life of the bond and the second is a variable rate reset every six months from the time the bond is purchased based on the current inflation rate.

(c) The information under this section is originally from Wikipedia and is used under the following licence http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/