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(In addition to the answers of Freddy and Phil H): With "modern" multi-curve setups: You have to distinguish between discount curves (which describe todays value of the a future fixed payoff (e.g. a zero coupon bond)) and forward curve, which describe the expectation (in a specific sense) of future interest rate fixings. Swaps pay LIBOR rates and are ...

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You should take a look at the example from Hull's book. Assume that the 6-month, 12-month, 18-month zero rates are 4%, 4.5%, and 4.8%, respectively. Suppose we know that the 2-year swap rate is 5%, which implies that a bond with a semiannual coupon of 5% per annum sells for par: 2.5 e^{-0.04 \bullet 0.5} + 2.5 e^{-0.045 \bullet 1.0} + 2.5 e^{-0.048 ...

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It really depends on how/where do you plan to use final values. I would not use extrapolation since it will ignore market realities. Forward rates across long end tend to be increasing while dumb extrapolation might give you the opposite result. In case of treasuries one can use treasury and swap spread and while you do not have 50 Y treasuyy one can find ...

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