The disadvantage of Gideon's structure from the fiscal point of view was that, for each 100 [pounds sterling] of war expenditure on 3 percent Consols issued at 60 percent of par, 167 [pounds sterling] was typically added to the debt.
The interest cost was indeed the same, or even slightly lower than through issuing new 5-6 percent debt at par, because the Consols' attractiveness to speculators allowed them to be sold at a slightly lower running yield.
The rise in the prices of British Consols from 1813 onward appears to have been due, in part, to a reduction in their perceived risk as the Allies approached France and peace returned, and, in part, to a drastic reduction in the annual supply of new Consols through budget deficit financing.
Nevertheless, the overall trend is clear: huge deficits and increases in the supply of Consols during the war years of 1812-15 were followed by near-balanced budgets in 1816-19 and surpluses thereafter, while the supply of Consols stopped increasing from 1816 onward, except for a modest blip in 1819-20 caused by funding 10 million [pounds sterling] of the Bank of England's holdings of Exchequer Bills in connection with the return to gold.
The largest single tranche, 384 million [pounds sterling], consisted of "Consolidated Annuities," the 3 percent Consols, which paid interest in January and July.
The 4 percent debt, totaling 75 million [pounds sterling], took the form of 4 percent Consols, while the 5 percent debt, totaling 136 million [pounds sterling], originally contracted in many cases by the Navy and Army directly, had been consolidated into 5 percent Consols.
The loan raised 27 million [pounds sterling] in net proceeds, for each 100 [pounds sterling] of which buyers would be given 130 [pounds sterling] in 3 percent reduced stock, 10 [pounds sterling] in 4 percent Consols, and 44 [pounds sterling] in 3 percent Consols.
However, given the price rise in Consols over the next decade, their holdings of this issue alone played a major role in generating the Rothschild and Ricardo fortunes.
Their capital base dramatically increased, from 1810 or so as their large long positions in Consols rose in value.
* Nearly all the Napoleonic War debt was issued around 60 percent of par or below, so when peace came holders would have a capital gain of 40 percent as Consols trended back toward par.