Savings Bonding

This old-fashioned investment is getting a makeover. The updated model is worth a look

Now that the budget deficit has morphed into a surplus, the Treasury's Bureau of Public Debt is in sore need of a new mission. Sure, the U.S. still has $5.6 trillion in obligations to manage. That'll keep it busy for a while. But things are different now that we're no longer spending more than we make. For one thing, the once vitally important U.S. savings-bond program seems ripe for attrition. Savings bonds finance only 4% of the national debt, down from more than 20% in their heyday, and officials are in deep discussion about how to keep the program relevant.


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