Treasury's Sale of Zero-Coupon Bonds to Mexico

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-61 August 14, 1990

GAO discussed the Department of the Treasury's pricing of zero-coupon bonds sold to Mexico in March 1990. GAO noted that: (1) Mexico paid $2.99 billion for U.S. zero-coupon bonds, promising $30.2 billion at maturity, for a yield of 7.925 percent; and (2) the United States would have received $192 million more for the sale of zero-coupon bonds to Mexico if it had based the bond prices on a 30-year yield. GAO believes that: (1) the interest rate Treasury used to set the price of the bonds was higher than comparable market rates; and (2) Treasury should have obtained congressional approval through the authorization and appropriations process, rather than underpricing the bonds, to help Mexico.

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