Competitive bidding spread to an unlikely corner of the municipal market last week, as the Illinois Health Facilities Authority entered a 30-year interest rate swap through an informal bidding process.

Originally, the authority planned to sell fixed-rate bonds on behalf of Rockford Memorial Hospital. But after the market soured in early April, senior manager Lehman Brothers suggested a synthetic fixed-rate structure that combined a variable-rate bond issue with an interest rate swap.

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