VARIABLE RATE SECURITIES: The U.S. government expects to start offering investors a new Treasury security with variable interest rates in January, the first new Treasury security in 15 years.

RISK/REWARDS: Treasury Department officials said that offering a variable interest rate carries some risk to the government, which would have to pay more if rates begin to rise from the current super low levels. But the government is counting on attracting more investors who will be drawn by the prospect of potentially higher yields.

OUTLOOK: Treasury officials said they viewed the rate risk as minimal because the bills will basically substitute for short-term Treasury bills which have to be renewed every three months, a frequency that already carries a rate risk for the government.