If municipal bond market observers feel there are other time bombs out there waiting to detonate that resemble the accusations surrounding the manipulation of Libor, they won’t be found in variable-rate debt tied to the SIFMA municipal swap index.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association index is much more of a market-driven rate, industry pros say, as opposed to what the bank-driven rate the London Interbank Offered Rate represents. Thus, the degree to which the process for setting the rate for the SIFMA index differs from that of Libor inoculates it from a similar potential for manipulation.
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