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My understanding is that treasuries can be bought and sold (which is what causes their changing interest rate because of their changing price). Since they aren't static/locked assets, does that mean that if in 2020 someone holds a 10yr treasury, in 2025 it can be bought/sold as a 5yr treasury? Or is it still a 10yr, with an expiration in 5 years?
Somewhat relatedly, what happens to treasuries when they approach their expiration? I doubt anybody in the world is looking to buy a treasury bill expiring in 4 days. The price for this bond must be essentially 0 because of no demand, so its rate must be infinite?

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    A T-Bill with a face value of $1000, due in 4 days, is worth close to $999.90. Certainly not zero. Jul 14 '21 at 14:34
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    Bonds don't "expire" like options. They "mature", at which time they pay out their face value.
    – Nobody
    Jul 14 '21 at 14:39
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    "I doubt anybody in the world is looking to buy a treasury bill expiring in 4 days." Aside from your wrong idea about pricing, there may be money-saving tax implications (e.g. exchanging income tax liability for capital gains tax liability) in some jurisdictions.
    – alephzero
    Jul 15 '21 at 14:11
  • Not sure why you edited your title. For all x and y, x - (x - y) = y. Jul 16 '21 at 5:33
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Yes, these are called "off-the-run" treasuries. Since they are not sold by the treasury directly but sold in secondary markets, they are less liquid than "on-the-run" treasuries and are cheaper (have a slightly higher yield) that the more liquid treasuries sold at auction.

Also, since a "10-year treasury" is just a treasury bond that matures in 10 years, and the maturity date is fixed, in a sense they do become "5-year treasuries" after 5 years, but I do not know how brokers actually list them (e.g. they may list them as "10-year 5% notes maturing YYYY-MM-DD" and you do the mental math to determine the time remaining). The key metric when pricing these bonds is the time-to-maturity, not the original tenor of the note.

I doubt anybody in the world is looking to buy a treasury bill expiring in 4 days.

If someone has a 30-year note that is expiring in 4 days and is willing to sell it for a lower price than current 4-day treasury bill (which doesn't exist, but say it did for the sake of argument) why wouldn't you buy it? You'd get a better yield than if you bought one from the treasury directly.

I can't speak to the actual market for 4-day treasuries, but anything is for sale for a price...

The price for this bond must be essentially 0 because of no demand

That's not how bonds are priced. Why would someone sell a $1,000 bond for zero when they're guaranteed to get $1,000 in 4 days? The "clean" price of these bonds should be very slightly below par. If the bond pays a coupon, then you'd also pay whatever interest has accrued since the last coupon was paid (called the "dirty" price). So for a $1,000 bond with a 5% coupon ($25 every 6 months), you might end up paying $1,024.50 for a bond that will give you $1,025.00 in 4 days.

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    In case it's not understood from this answer, 10 year treasuries do not literally become 5 year treasuries after 5 years. They are listed as off-the-run 10 year treasuries no matter how close to maturation they are. Jul 14 '21 at 15:33
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    @OrangeCoast-reinstateMonica Thanks- I've tried to clarify that in my answer.
    – D Stanley
    Jul 14 '21 at 15:50
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    Right, if the price of any bond is even modestly below fair value, that will create demand in the form of arbitrageurs. They won't hesitate to buy and flip a 4-day Treasury if there's a buck in it. That's what OP was missing with "The price for this bond must be essentially 0 because of no demand".
    – nanoman
    Jul 14 '21 at 19:13
  • @DStanley makes sense to me. What about when I look up something like the 5 year treasury yield? When I see this value, what's interest is being displayed? About-to-be-auctioned 5 year notes? Already auctioned 5 year notes? 10 year notes that are 5 years away from maturity?
    – Runeaway3
    Jul 16 '21 at 3:17
  • Arbitrage will make sure that newly issued bonds and off-the-run are at about the same yield to maturity. This is what is displayed in yield curves
    – Manziel
    Jul 16 '21 at 7:26

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