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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Libor benchmark interest rate is going away soon and the transition to a replacement has been a bit bumpy.

The intrigue: Why anyone cares about this particular saga is related to the fact that trillions of dollars in corporate and consumer debt are pegged to it.

  • Libor fell out of favor after regulators in 2008 revealed widespread manipulation of the rate by traders at numerous banks.

Why it matters: So far investors largely aren’t raising alarm bells over the uncertainty. But the process of moving to a new benchmark, called SOFR, has dragged on — and talk of using different alternative rates is increasingly cropping up.

What’s new: Bank of America and JPMorgan used a new Bloomberg index in a sizable trade earlier this month, the WSJ writes. That index will compete with SOFR.

  • The BofA/JPM transaction could signify a fork in the road of investor opinion on the matter, as more people think multiple benchmarks will replace Libor, instead of just one, WSJ says.

What’s at stake: "The swath of those impacted by Libor is vast — like $220 trillion vast," Meredith Coffey, executive VP at the Loan Syndications and Trading Association, tells Axios.

  • "It is the benchmark rate used in setting many adjustable-rate loans worldwide — from corporate loans to mortgages to credit cards to auto loans to student loans in various countries. And it is going away."

Watch this space: Numerous alternative rates mean investors have to do more to prepare operations, technologies — and, importantly, investment strategies — for a multirate environment.

The bottom line: Large investment banks and asset managers will undoubtedly find their way through the process. But regional banks and smaller funds may not have the same depth to adapt as quickly.

Go deeper

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: Four people were arrested at the rally, including one person with a gun, one with a knife and two with outstanding warrants, per the U.S. Capitol Police.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.