WASHINGTON Aug 6 The United States will buy
back debt in the coming quarter for the first time since 2002 to
make sure its computer infrastructure is adequate for any future
buyback operations, the U.S. Treasury said on Wednesday.
The buyback does not signal any current need to buy back
debt, a Treasury official told journalists in a briefing.
He added, however, that the last time Washington bought back
debt was during a period of declining deficits, in order to
provide liquidity to segments of the bond market. U.S. deficits
have declined quickly over the last year.
The Treasury will conduct tests regularly, the official said
on condition of anonymity.
In a statement, Treasury Assistant Secretary Matt Rutherford
said the Treasury was holding the level of two- and three-year
note issuance steady in the coming quarter.
"Based on current fiscal forecasts, coupon auction sizes
will remain steady going forward," Rutherford said.
Rutherford also said the Treasury was studying how to change
its cash management policy to ensure the government can access
markets during disruptive events, such as severe storms.
(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Paul Simao)