War Bond

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What is a 'War Bond'

A war bond consists of debt securities issued by a government for the purpose of financing military operations during times of war. It is an emotional appeal to patriotic citizens to lend the government their money because these bonds offer a rate of return below the market rate.


At first they were called Defense Bonds and issued by the U.S. Government, but that name was changed to War Bonds after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. The bonds were zero-coupon bonds that sold for 75% of their face value in denominations from $10 to $100,000. To get an idea of the relative value of a dollar in 1942, in current terms, something that cost $1.00 in 1942, would cost around $11.00 in 2002.