Bureau of Public Debt (BPD)

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Paul Tracy

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Updated September 30, 2020

What is the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD)?

The Bureau of Public Debt is responsible for borrowing the money needed to run the U.S. government. They are also responsible for tracking the total amount of U.S. soverign debt.

How Does the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD) Work?

The Bureau of Public Debt is a small agency within the Department of Treasury. It handles the physical sale, receipt, and storage of Treasury securities and U.S. savings bonds.

The Bureau of Public Debt conducts and administers some 140 public auctions a year. It also administers the sale of savings bonds through over 40,000 locations across the country.

The Bureau of Public Debt calculates and processes the interest and principal payments owed to bondholders. Further, the Bureau processes claims of stolen, lost, or destroyed securities and promotes the sale of savings bonds (click here to learn about EE Bonds and other types of savings bonds).

The Bureau of Public Debt reports the size of the public debt every morning around 11:30 am EST. It relies on about 50 reporting agencies to come up with the tally.

Why Does the Bureau of Public Debt (BPD) Matter?

The Bureau of Public Debt is not well-known, but it plays a crucial role in keeping the gears turning in the government securities markets. However, it does not have any public policy authority, and does not shape the strategy behind the security sales and redemptions.

The Bureau of Public Debt runs TreasuryDirect, the first and only financial services website that lets investors purchase and redeem securities (like U.S. government bonds) directly from the U.S. Treasury.

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