This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
It now remains to see how the credit of the nation was protected and how it stood the strain. At the end of April, 1898, the interest-bearing debt of the United States amounted in round numbers to $847,000,000. $100,000,000 of this bore interest nominally at 5 per cent, the balance at 4 per cent. The 4 per cent bonds, payable in 1925, were quoted, when the plans were being made for placing the new loan at 117.25. At that rate they would yield the investor 3.25 per cent interest. There was, therefore, some surprise when it was proposed to place the new loan at 3 per cent. It was urged that nobody would buy the new bond at 3 per cent when he could buy one of the old ones and get 3.25 per cent. Yet the outcome showed the wisdom of the move. The bonds were subscribed to seven times over, and in a short time rose to a premium of 103 and 105. In fact, the entire loan was easily placed on far better terms than any nation has ever before been able to obtain in time of war. This remarkable result was attained partly by reason of the fact that the loan was offered for popular subscriptions and the bonds were for small amounts, thus creating and reaching a new market among investors of small means. In part, too, it was due to the fact that the new bonds at par really formed a better basis for the national bank-note circulation than the old bonds at 117.25, and very much better than the old bonds at 123.25, the price which was reached before the new issue was completed. An investment by a national bank of $100,000 in the old bonds at 117.25would yield a profit of $736.70 on the circulation, if interest is at 6 per cent ; while an investment of the same amount in the new bonds at par would yield a profit on the circulation of $1,302.02. The difference in favour of the new bonds was $565.32, or over half of 1 per cent. The advantage was still greater when the old 4's reached 127.5, as they did before the close of the war. None of these influences, however, would have had any weight had it not been that new revenues sufficient to meet all debt charges and part of the war expenses had been provided.