“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
That cheeky line from Mark Twain turns on its head conventional wisdom on taking action. It also might apply to how some treasury teams are approaching preparation for Libor’s demise. And there are other variations on the “what, me worry?” theme.
- One participant at a recent NeuGroup meeting of cash investment managers said, with a smile on her face, “We’re not worried about Libor; someone will figure it out. We haven’t taken any action.” She expects the company’s banks will clear the path to a smooth transition.
A slightly different view of preparedness surfaced at a meeting last week of assistant treasurers:
- ATs appeared to be well-versed, if stuck in place, regarding regulators’ push to move away from Libor to the secured overnight funding rate (SOFR). Yes, treasury must understand the company’s Libor exposures and make sure there’s fallback language in those contracts. But otherwise, right now it’s a big waiting game with a shortage of to-dos.
- Coincidentally, on the same day as the discussion, the Alternative Reference Rates Committee, charged with guiding the transition to SOFR for cash products, released a “practical implementation checklist” to implement the risk-free rate. Any takers?