Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said issuing ultra-long U.S. bonds is “under very serious consideration” in the Trump administration, possibly setting up a move that would mark a historic revamp of the $16 trillion Treasurys market.

“If the conditions are right, then I would anticipate we’ll take advantage of long-term borrowing and execute on that,” Mnuchin said Wednesday in a Bloomberg interview in Washington. He said officials held a meeting earlier in the day to review the possibility.

The concept of issuing 50- or 100-year bonds dates back to at least 2009 and has recently gained traction within Treasury. For the Trump administration, issuing extremely long-term debt would limit the cost to taxpayers of plugging a budget deficit that’s headed to $1 trillion annually. Pension funds would enjoy a few extra points of returns amid falling yields.

Mnuchin said his renewed interest in long bonds was unrelated to the drop in yields on shorter-term U.S. debt. The yield on 30-year Treasuries slid below 2% for the first time earlier this month, and they continued their decline to a new record 1.90% on Wednesday.

“It would be premature for me to comment on what our conclusion is,” Mnuchin said, adding that the department is “actively revisiting it, and it is something that is under very serious consideration.”

Following Mnuchin’s comments, the spread between five- and 30-year Treasury yields widened to 59 basis points from 56 basis points. Mnuchin’s comments helped push up 30-year yields to 1.97%, reversing the decline earlier in the day. Those moves retraced in early Asia trading on Thursday, with the 30-year yield dropping back to 1.93%.

Record-low interest rates make this an opportune time for the Treasury to revisit a proposal it’s shelved in the past. Some observers see a window for the U.S. to issue extremely long-term debt instruments, even though the idea has been met with a cool reception on Wall Street.

Mnuchin studied the issue when he first took office in 2017, but put the idea to rest following a review with the agency’s group of market consultants, called the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, or TBAC.

Treasury’s announcement last Friday after markets closed stirred some confusion among investors who questioned whether the renewed interest was a result of prompting from the TBAC or its primary dealers -- or from President Donald Trump.

The decision to make the announcement came after a meeting between Mnuchin and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, according to people familiar with the matter. It was not the result of fresh information from market participants, the people said.

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