The U.S. may begin issuing 50-year ultra-long government bonds for the first time, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.
The department is "exploring" potential additions to the current suite of Treasury securities, including a 20-year nominal coupon bond, a 50-year nominal coupon bond and a one-year floating-rate note linked to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate, according to the Treasury's quarterly refunding statement released Wednesday.
"Treasury is taking a proactive approach to prepare for prospective future financing needs," the statement said. No timeline was given for the issuance.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC previously that the government could be launching 50-year bonds as soon as next year as Washington looks for cheaper and longer-term ways to finance its burgeoning debt load. The federal deficit increased 26% to $984 billion in fiscal 2019, the highest in seven years.
The longest duration the U.S. government has now is the 30-year bond. More than a dozen other developed nations have issued bonds with a 40-to-100-year maturity, including Canada, Belgium and Ireland.
President Donald Trump said previously that the country should "refinance" its debt load, a suggestion without any modern precedent. The U.S. has $22.5 trillion in debt, $16.7 trillion of which is held by the public.