Friday, March 13, 2009

Treasury direct rant

I opened a treasury direct account in 1999. It allowed you to buy, roll over and redeem treasury bills with funds coming from (or going into) a linked bank account. The web interface was a bit clunky but worked OK. A few years ago the government created a new treasury direct product and renamed the old product "legacy treasury direct". I continued to use the old product without problems. This year I decided to upgrade to the new version (encouraged by a recently increased fee for using the old version). This proved to be a lot of trouble, requiring two separate signature guarantees from my bank (one to set up the new account, one to transfer the securities in the old account to the new) although all the account information was exactly the same. I then found that new security measures make logging into your account difficult and tedious. Of course security is good but somehow the old system managed with a lot less trouble. Once in I found requesting that a maturing treasury bill be rolled over into a new treasury bill is a complicated multi step operation (which I have already botched once resulting in an undesired redemption). With the old system this was simple and in fact repeated rollovers (up to two years in advance) could be scheduled. Naturally all pending rollovers were cancelled when my account was transferred. All in all the new system is far inferior to the old. One more thing to blame on Bush I guess.

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