View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in common with the other
Reserve Banks, performs a number of services for the United States Govern­

Included among them are operations for the Treasury in connection with

public debt transactions, activities involving receipts of revenues and pay­
ments for the account of the Federal Government and its various agencies,
miscellaneous fiscal and custodial work, and certain statistical tabulation
work for the Treasury.

All of these are typical central banking functions;

most central banks exercise similar functions for their national governments.
The Fiscal Agency Department of the St. Louis Bank, and the Fiscal
Agency Departments at the branches are concerned mainly with operations for
the Treasury incident to public debt transactions.

About lU.2 people work in

the department at St* Louis and 15> are employed at the three branches.
Thus approximately lU per cent of the parent Bank and branch employment is
in these departments alone *
At St. Louis, the department is under the general supervision of
the First Vice President and is managed directly by two Assistant Vice Presi­
dents and an Assistant Manager.
divisions, each under a chief.

The department is divided into several
The divisions are;

Marketable Issues, Issue,

Redemption and Reissue.
Most of the expenses incurred in operating the Fiscal Agency
Department are reimbursable to the Bank by the Treasury.

In 1950, of the

total expenses of $660,000 for the departments at St* Louis and the branches,
97 per cent was reimbursable.
*1116 Public Debt
The public debt of the United States is now about $2£6 billion,
most of it reflecting debt incurred in connection with World War II#



tables show some detail of the volume and kind of securities (as of January
31, 19^1) and the ownership of outstanding securities (as of November 30,
There are three basic types of securities now issued as debt obliga­
tions - marketable public issues, nonmarketable public issues and special

The marketable issues are Treasury b ills , notes and bonds, the

latter being divided into issues eligible for bank ownership and those re­
stricted as to ownership by banks.

The nonmarketable public issues include

the various types of savings bonds, tax and savings notes and certain miscel­
laneous securities such as Armed Forces Leave bonds, Treasury Investment
bonds, etc.

The special issues are those designed for Government agencies

and trust funds.
Table I
Volume and Kind of Securities (as of Jan* 31, 1951)
(in billions of dollars)


Total debt (including guaranteed)


Marketable public issues

1i9 o6

Bank eligible bonds
Restricted bonds


Nonmarketable public issues
Savings Bonds - Series




19 c2

Tax and Savings Notes


Other (adjusted service depository
bonds, Armed Forces Leave bonds,
2§ per cent Treasury investment
bonds - Series A - 1965)


Special issues
Non-interest bearing debt

2. h


The debt is owned by many types of holder.

About $39 billion or

15 per cent, mostly special issues, is held by Government agencies and trust

Another 8 per cent is held by the Federal Reserve Banks.

Almost one-

fourth is held by the commercial banks and another fourth by individuals,
most of the latter being the savings bonds*

The balance is owned by mutual

savings banks (U per cent), insurance companies (8 per cent), '•other'* corpor­
ations (8 per cent), state and local governments (3 per cent) and miscel­
laneous investors (U per cent).
Table II
Ownership of Government Securities (as of Nov. 30. 1950)
(In billions of dollars)
Total debt


Government Agencies & Trust Funds
Special issues
Public issues



Federal Reserve Banks


Commercial Banks


Mutual Savings Banks


Insurance Companies


Other Corporations


State and Local Governments

8 .1



Savings bonds
Other issues


Miscellaneous (savings and loan
associations, dealers and brokers,
foreign accounts, corporate pension
funds, nonprofit institutions)


Transactions in connection with the public debt are many and varied
for the Reserve Banks.

Under instructions from the Secretary of the Treasury,

Federal Reserve Banks print or arrange for the printing of official circulars

describing new offerings of Treasury issues, distribute them among all bank­
ing institutions and others interested, receive subscriptions, make allot­
ments, receive payment and make deliveries of the securities.

An unissued

stock of all outstanding issues of bearer securities is maintained by the
Reserve Banks for use in making deliveries on original issues and exchanges.
The Reserve Banks also redeem securities as they mature, make
exchanges of denominations or kinds, handle transfers and pay interest coupons
and do a number of other things involved in servicing the Government debt.
Marketable Issues
United States bonds (except Savings bonds which are discussed
later) are issued in both coupon and registered form and in various denomina­

They are freely interchangeable as between coupon and registered

bonds of the same issue and as between the various authorized denominations.
Registered bonds may be transferred into other names.

Treasury notes, cer-

tificates of indebtedness-' and bills are available only in bearer form.
Notes and certificates are freely interchangeable as between the authorized
denominations but bills may be exchanged only from a higher denomination to
a lower denomination*
United States coupon bonds, notes (except Treasury Savings notes),
certificates and bills are payable to bearer and title thereto passes by
delivery without endorsement and without notice to the Treasury Department.
Interest on coupon bonds and notes is payable upon presentation and surrender
of the interest coupons appertaining thereto as they mature.

Interest on

certificates is payable simultaneously with the principal on maturity.
A United States registered bond is payable to the registered owner
or his registered assigns and may be transferred only by an assignment thereon

1 / Currently no certificates are outstanding; the last issue matured Janu­
ary 1 and was exchanged into notes.

e -5

duly executed by the registered owner or his authorized representative.
Interest on United States registered bonds is payable by check drawn on the
Treasurer of the United States to the order of the registered holder.
Treasury bills are issued on a discount basis under both competi­
tive and noncompetitive bidding.

They are payable at maturity upon presenta­

tion to the Treasurer of the United States in Washington or to any Federal
Reserve Bank.

Treasury bills are issued only by Federal Reserve Banks pur­

suant to tenders accepted by the Secretary of the Treasury.

When Treasury

bills are offered, tenders therefor are invited through public notice given
by the Secretary of the Treasury.

In such public notice there is set forth

the amount of Treasury bills for which tenders are invited, the date of issue,
the date when such bills will become due and payable, the date and closing
hour for the receipt of tenders at the Federal Reserve Banks and branches,
and the date on which payment for accepted tenders must be made or completed.
In order to assist in maintaining a uniform market for Government
securities throughout the United States, a Reserve Bank is authorized to re­
ceive outstanding unmatured Government securities and to request other Reserve
Banks to make delivery of a like face amount of the same issue in instances
(1) where a sale is involved and where delivery by another Reserve Bank is
necessary to consummate the sale, and (2) where securities are pledged on orig­
inal issue as collateral to Treasury Tax and Loan Accounts and subsequently
are to be withdrawn from the custody of the Federal Reserve Bank for delivery
to the owner or his agent (at the risk and expense of the Treasury Depart­

Such transactions are called CPD transfers.

They are accomplished

through the exchange of telegrams between Federal Reserve Banks over leasedwire service, with appropriate reports to the Division of Public Debt Accounts
and Audit and entries in Fiscal Agency accounts.

With a few exceptions,


a fee of $5 for each transaction involving securities in a face amount of
$ 50,000 or less and a fee of $10 for each transaction involving securities
in a face amount in excess of $50,000 is charged.

No fees are charged for

the transfer of (a) bonds and notes during the year immediately preceding the
date of maturity where the securities are not callable for redemption prior
to maturity, or (b) beyond the date of notice of call for redemption where
the securities are called for redemption prior to maturity, (c) Treasury
b ills, (d) securities pledged on original issue as collateral to Treasury Tax
and Loan Account.
Upon receipt and acceptance by a Federal Reserve Bank (receiving
bank) of securities for authorized transfer to another Federal Reserve Bank
(delivering bank), the receiving bank cancels and retires the securities re­
ceived for transfer and authorizes and instructs the delivering bank to issue
and deliver an equal amount of like securities.

Upon receipt of telegraphic

authority from a receiving bank, the delivering bank withdraws from its
general stock securities and confirms such issue and delivery by telegram to
the receiving bank.

A H Government securities received by Federal Reserve

Banks for exchange, transfer, redemption or other authorized transactions are
subsequently cancelled, scheduled according to issue and class of trans­
action, and forwarded to the Treasury Department for retirement.
Special Depositaries
Banks and trust companies may be designated and qualified as
special depositaries.

As such they are permitted to make payment in the form

of a deposit credit (Treasury Tax and Loan Account) for the purchase price of
securities bought by them on original issue for their own account or for the
account of their customers (who enter subscriptions through such institutions
when this method of payment is permitted).

About 1,000 qualified depositaries

presently exist in this district.

Under this arrangement large sums of money

raised by the Treasury through financing operations are left on deposit in
local banking institutions until the Treasury needs to withdraw them to meet
Government expenditures.

This procedure avoids sporadic tightening or

loosening of the money market which would result from immediate withdrawal
of such funds by the Government.
Calls for withdrawal of deposits held by special depositaries are
made by direction of the Secretary of the Treasury through the Federal Re­
serve Banks.

The depositaries are required to arrange for payment of such

calls in funds that will be immediately available on the payment due date.
Before receiving deposits, special depositaries are required to
pledge as collateral for such deposits securities eligible and acceptable to
the Secretary of the Treasury in an amount at least equal to such deposits.
(No collateral security is required for such part of deposits as are insured
under Section 12B of the Federal Reserve Act creating the Federal Deposit
Insurance Fund.)
The collateral posted by the special depositaries may be and
usually is held by the Reserve Bank or branch of the district in which the
depositary is located.

The depositary may, however, place its collateral

with another custodian or custodians designated by the Reserve Bank and sub­
ject to such terms and conditions as the Reserve Bank may prescribe.


this latter procedure a depositary may execute a Letter of Agreement with
its correspondent bank and post its required collateral with the correspond­

More than 150 qualified depositaries in this district have done so and,

at the end of 1950, 21 commercial banks held about $15 million in such
collateral security for the account of their correspondent banks subject to
the St. Louis Reserve Bank’s order.


In the latter part of 19U9, the Treasury Department announced a
new plan for handling deposits of Withheld Income and Employment Taxes and
authorized and directed the Federal Reserve Banks to receive from employers
or other persons deposits of Federal taxes and to perform such other func­
tions as might be prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury in connection
with the handling and processing of such tax deposits.

The new plan also

provided that any bank or trust company which desired to qualify for receiv­
ing from employers deposits of Federal taxes could apply for qualification
through the Federal Reserve Bank of the district in which it was located.
Up to the present time,. 699 banks and trust companies have made
application and have been designated as depositaries for Federal taxes.
Depositaries forward daily to the Federal Reserve Banks depositary receipts
accepted from employers, together with payment in funds immediately available
to the Federal Reserve Bank, or advice that funds have been credited in the
Treasury Tax and Loan Account of the depositary bank.
Federal Depositary receipts received direct from employers as well
as those received from depositary banks are processed by means of IBM tabu­
lating equipment in keeping with procedural operations prescribed by the
Treasury Department, after which the funds are credited to the Treasurers
General Account, the Federal depositary receipt validated and returned to
the employer, together with a blank receipt for use in making subsequent de­
posits of Federal taxes.

The validated receipts are subsequently deposited

with the collectors of internal revenue in payment of taxes due quarterly.
Ultimately they are returned to the Federal Reserve Banks for verification
with the Reserve Bank’s record set up at the time the receipt was originally


Savings Bonds
In the early part of 1935 the Secretary of the Treasury offered for
sale through the Postal Service United States Savings Bonds, Series A.


series of bonds was issued only in registered farm, in denominations of
$25, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 (maturity value) and bore the name and ad­
dress of the owner, the date of issue and the date of maturity*

All such

Savings Bonds were dated as of the first day of the month in which sold, and
matured ten years from such issue date.

After 60 days they were redeemable

prior to maturity at the owner’s option, in accordance with the table of
redemption values set forth on the face of each bond.
The bonds were sold at a percentage of their maturity value.


purchase price was fixed so as to produce an investment yield of about 2 .9
per cent per annum, compounded semi-annually if the bonds were held to matur­

If the owner exercised his option to redeem his bond prior to maturity,

the yield was less.

The bonds were not transferable and were payable only

to the owner named thereon except in the case of death or disability of the

Safekeeping facilities were offered by the Secretary of the Treasury

to the purchasers if they so desired, and in this connection the Secretary
utilized the facilities of the Federal Reserve Banks.

The Federal Reserve

Banks were authorized and requested by the Secretary of the Treasury to
redeem any such bonds presented for redemption prior to maturity and make
payment by check drawn to the order of the owner under rules and regulations
prescribed by the Treasury Department.

A similar type of security was

offered by the Treasury at the beginning of each year subsequent to 1935*
which bonds were designated Series B, C and D.

The terms and conditions of

each were substantially identical with the Series A bonds.

By 19^1, about

$5 billion (maturity value) of these "Baby Bonds1' had been sold.


In order to place as many securities as possible in the hands of
nonbank investors during the heavy financings of World War I I , the Treasury
stepped up its Savings Bond program early in 19l|l«

Three new types of bonds

were offered investors.
(1) The Series E, or Defense Savings bond, was designed primarily
for small investors and restricted as to ownership to individuals in their
own right*

This bond was similar to and replaced the Baby Bond noted above.

It was sold at discount from maturity value, matured in ten years and, if
held to maturity, yielded an average of 2 ,9 per cent,
(2) The Series F Savings bond was designed for individual investors,
large as well as small, and also for trustees, associations, pension funds
and corporations.

This bond matured in 12 years, was sold at a discount from

maturity value, and, if held to maturity, produced an average yield of 2,53
per cent.

The bond could be redeemed at any time after six months following

purchase (upon

30 days notice) in accordance with a table of redemption

values printed on the face of the bond.
(3) The Series G Savings bond was designed to meet the needs of
savers who preferred an income type bond.

It was issued at par and interest

was paid semi-annually at 2-| per cent per year.

Like the Series F bond,

maturity was 12 years, the bond could be bought by individuals and by cor­
porations, trust funds, etc.

It was not transferable but was redeemable

before maturity at a penalty price.
To further the sale of the Series E bonds the Treasury designated
all banks, members of the Federal Home Loan Bank System and various other
types of institutions as selling agents, subject to very simple qualifica­

The Reserve Banks were authorized to qualify such issuing agents and

to administer regulations applicable to them.

At that time, 1,238 banks, 113 building and loan and savings and
loan associations and 37 credit unions were qualified by this Bank as issuing

These were on a consignment basis; they were provided with necessary

instructions and forms for issuance and accounting.

Subsequently, other

types of issuing agents were authorized - corporations and others operating
payroll deduction plans, retail stores, theatres, radio stations, etc.
600 such issuing agents were qualified by this Bank.
on a prepayment basis.


These latter operated

Presently there are about 1,600 issuing agents in

this district.
Accountability controls are maintained by the Federal Reserve Banks
for bond stock furnished issuing agents, whether on a consignment or prepay­
ment basis.

Federal Reserve Banks are required to examine the original

registration stubs detached from bonds sold by issuing agents to determine
whether the registration conforms with the requirements of the Treasury De­
partment, that the date of issue is clearly shown, that the validating stamp
of the issuing agent is affixed and that no alteration or erasures appear in
the inscription or issue date.

The stubs are then segregated by month of

issue, denomination, sorted in numerical order as to each segregation,
scheduled and shipped to the Chicago Office of the Division of Loans and
Currency, where they are retained as a permanent record of the bonds issued.
Savings bonds of Series F and G are issued only by the Federal
Reserve Banks or the Treasurer of the United States,

Banking institutions

may submit applications for account of customers, but only the Federal Re­
serve Banks and the Treasury Department are authorized to act as official
agencies, and the receipt of an application and payment at an official agency
governs the dating of the bonds issued.

The original registration stubs

detached from Series F and G bonds are handled in the same manner as stubs


detached from Series E bonds and are forwarded to the Treasury where they
are retained as a permanent record of the bonds issued.
Reissue of Savings Bonds
Savings bonds are not transferable and are payable only to the
owners named thereon, except in case of the disability or death of the owner
when the bonds either may be reissued or payment made to the person found to
be entitled to the estate of the deceased owner.

Reissue of a Savings bond

is restricted to a form of registration in effect on the date of original
issue of the bond.

Reissue of a Savings bond in a different name or in a

different form of registration is also authorized in order to (a) correct an
error in the original issue, (b) to show a change in the name of an owner,
co-owner or designated beneficiary, (c) to eliminate the beneficiary or
change the beneficiary to a co-owner, (d) to eliminate or change the name of
an owner or co-owner if either one of the co-owners is married after the
issue of the bond.
The problems encountered in connection with the reissue of


bonds are manifold, due principally to unfamiliarity on the part of the
public of the conditions under which a bond may be reissued.

In the majority

of reissue cases, some form of documentary evidence ranging from a simple
death certificate to judgments or decisions of courts where judicial pro­
ceedings have been instituted by conflicting claimants must support the
request for reissue.
Upon approval of the documentary evidence supporting a request for
reissue, new bonds of like series and issue date are inscribed in keeping
with the request.

With respect to Series F and G bonds, the surrendered

bonds as well as the new bonds are scheduled, which schedule is transmitted
to the Treasury Department for release of registration.

Registration is

released and reissue authorized by the Treasury Department upon the sufficiency
of the evidence approved by the Reserve Banks.
If and when reissue is authorized, the new bonds are delivered in
keeping with instructions given in the request for reissue and the old bonds
are cancelled and forwarded to the Treasury Department.
Redemption of Savings Bonds
During the early years of the Savings bond program, in order to
redeem Savings bonds prior to maturity, the holder was obliged to present his
bonds to the Treasury Department or to any Federal Reserve Bank.

Payment was

made in the form of a Treasurer's check drawn to the order of the owner and
mailed to him at the address given in the request for payment.
However, as the sales of Savings bonds increased tremendously during
the war period, redemptions before maturity increased proportionately.


volume of redemptions in the Treasury Department and the Reserve Banks became
so great that in the latter part of 19U* the Treasury designated incorporated
banks and trust companies and certain financial institutions as Series A
through E bond paying agents, subject to certain limitations and regulations
prescribed by the Treasury Department.

The Treasury authorized the Federal

Reserve Banks to qualify eligible institutions upon application to the Re­
serve Bank of the district in which the applicant is located.
We have at present 1,556 agents qualified to redeem and pay Series E
Savings bonds (and Series A - D also) upon presentation and satisfactory
proof or knowledge that the person presenting the bond is the rightful owner

For this service the agent is reimbursed by the Treasury Department

through the Federal Reserve Banks at the rate of 15 cents each for the first
1,000 bonds, and 10 cents each for all over 1,000 bonds paid in a particular

Bonds paid by the agents are subsequently submitted to the Federal

Reserve Banks where, upon receipt, immediate settlement is made for the
amount shown in the transmittal letter, subject to adjustment.

Various pro­

cedural operations are prescribed by the Treasury Department for verification
of the amounts paid.

This is done mostly on IBM tabulating equipment, after

which the paid bonds are scheduled and shipped to the Treasury Department for
Armed Forces Leave bonds issued to veterans of World War II are
redeemed through the same channels and processed in a manner similar to
Savings bonds of Series A to E .
Federal Reserve Banks redeem all Savings bonds received direct
through the mails or over the counter and make payment in the form of a
Treasurer's check payable to the person entitled.

Such items consist mostly

of bonds which the paying agent is not authorized to redeem.

For example,

bonds inscribed in the name or names of a person or persons who are deceased
and bonds inscribed in the names of corporations, associations, partnerships
or fiduciaries.

These items in most instances require documentary evidence

to support the request for payment, which evidence is examined and approved
by experienced personnel especially trained and thoroughly familiar with the
regulations of the Treasury Department.
Series F and G Savings bonds are redeemable only at the Treasury
Department and the Federal Reserve Bank subject to release of registration
by the Treasury Department, and, after payment, are processed and shipped to
the Treasury Department for reimbursement in a manner similar to Series A
to E bonds.

John J. Christ