The Tennessee Valley Authority decided to issue bonds at 7:30 a.m., called Salomon Brothers Inc. at 8:15 a.m., and the firm priced a $1.5 billion offering by 3 p.m.

"We surprised everyone I think," William F. Malec, TVA's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said about the speed with which yesterday's deal was done. The offering, for which Salomon Brothers served as lead manager, included a 50-year tranche.

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