U.S. Treasury

7:45am

Fri December 28, 2012
Planet Money

A Hitler-Themed Piggy Bank, And Other Ways The U.S. Sold War Bonds

Thomas Lamb's "Adolph the Pig." The message scribbled on top reads "Save for Victory and Make Him Squeal."
Courtesy of the Museum of World War II, Boston. On display at the WWII & NYC exhibit, New-York Historical Society.

Wars are expensive, and governments have always borrowed money to fight them. But it wasn't until the 20th century — the age of advertising — that governments started using war as a marketing tool to encourage citizens to buy government bonds.

To raise money for World War I, the U.S. government issued "Liberty Bonds," and launched an ad campaign full of dramatic, frightening posters.

For World War II, the government ditched the "liberty" euphemism and got straight to the point. It issued "war bonds," which were accompanied by a massive promotional campaign.

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7:37am

Wed December 19, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Will Sell Off Its General Motors Stock

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:36 am

General Motors is buying back stock from the U.S. government.
Paul Sancya ASSOCIATED PRESS

In a statement early this morning, the Treasury Department says it's going to "exit" its investment in General Motors. The federal government holds just over 500 million shares of GM stock.

The automaker will buy 200 million of those shares, and the government will dispose of the rest "in an orderly fashion" over the next year and a half, depending on market conditions.

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11:34am

Tue December 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Low-Profile Power Player Jack Lew May Be In Line For Treasury Post

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

President Obama walks with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew on March 2 on the South Lawn of the White House.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Ask the average person — even in Washington — who serves as President Obama's chief of staff and you'll probably get a blank stare.

Jack Lew hasn't been heard or seen in the "fiscal cliff" drama unfolding between the White House and Congress. But the former budget director, who took over the top White House job last January, has become a key player behind the scenes.

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3:15pm

Sat December 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama's Cabinet 2.0 Coming Into Focus

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 10:50 am

Then-Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., observe voting in parliamentary elections in Lahore, Pakistan, in 2008. President Obama is reportedly considering Hagel as his next defense secretary, and Kerry for secretary of state.
KM Chaudary AP

In the category of unintended consequences, Susan Rice's announcement about her future could — under one scenario — mean a Republican in President Obama's inner circle, decorated Vietnam veterans overseeing the nation's military and its foreign policy, and another special election for Senate in Massachusetts.

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4:04pm

Mon December 10, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Treasury To Sell Remaining Stake In AIG

In a statement on Monday, the U.S. Treasury Department said it will launch an underwritten public offering to sell its remaining 234,169,156 common stock shares in insurer American International Group Inc., better known as AIG.

The U.S. government bought the controlling stake in the company as part of the $182 billion bank bailout in 2008. The sale would bring an end to the government's run as the company's largest shareholder, which represented a 16-percent ownership in the company.

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