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Fed, Treasury to Publish LIBOR Alternatives; Transition Challenges Expected

Reuters is reporting that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research have developed three Treasury repo reference rates to replace the LIBOR rate. The Fed is expected to publish the LIBOR alternatives -- the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), the Broad General Collateral Rate (BGCR) and the Tri-Party General Collateral Rate (TGCR) -- on April 3.  A report in the Financial Times notes, however, that abolishing LIBOR is proving to be challenging. The FT report notes that LIBOR remains an important part of the financial system and that contracts worth a notional $240 trillion use the benchmark for establishing the cost of payments on loans, derivatives and other instruments. The FT writes that LIBOR has endured because it has provided stable, predictable payments known months in advance and there are significant hurdles to switching to another benchmark, including changing thousands of contracts that reference LIBOR.