Mastering the ISDA Master Agreements: A Practical Guide for Negotiation / Edition 3

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Published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the 1992 and 2002 ISDA® Master Agreements are the main contracts used in the over the counter global derivatives market. Mastering the ISDA Master Agreements provides a practical, clear and useful guide to help understand and negotiate these Master Agreements.

This revised and updated edition is an essential handbook for anyone involved in negotiating agreements, from financial institutions through to fund managers, law firms, credit officers, regulators and business students. The new edition includes:

  • Increased focus on the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement Schedule
  • Expanded sections on hedge fund and loan-linked Schedules
  • The introduction of covered bonds
  • The effect of the credit crunch, the role of derivatives and how this has affected the market

The ISDA Mater Agreements are complex documents and it can take up to two years to become proficient in negotiating and understanding their key elements. Mastering the ISDA Master Agreements provides a detailed overview of the legal, credit and operational issues inherent in the ISDA Master Agreements.

The book includes:

  • The evolution of ISDA documentation including general and product definitions and confirmations
  • A clear and detailed commentary on the individual sections and provisions of the 1992 and 2002 ISDA Master Agreements
  • The main legal issues surrounding the Agreement and OTC derivatives from UK and US legal perspectives
  • Special Schedule terms including those for building societies, insurance companies, hedge funds and sovereign entities
  • Provisions seen in US Schedules which often face non-US negotiators
  • The background to the credit crunch, the effect on the OTC derivatives market and some suggestions about possible changes to the market
  • Annexes including reproductions of the ISDA Master Agreements and useful information
  • Simplified glossaries of terms used in the Agreements
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780273725206
  • Publisher: FT Press
  • Publication date: 6/29/2010
  • Series: Financial Times Series
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 804
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

About the author

Paul Harding is a graduate of London University and has worked in several UK and foreign banks in London in credit, marketing and documentation roles. Since 1990 he has been involved with OTC derivatives documentation and was a well known negotiator in the City of London with Barclays Capital Securities Limited and Hill Samuel Bank Limited where he was head of Treasury Documentation.

In February 1997 he founded Derivatives Documentation Limited ( , a derivatives consultancy and project management company based in the City of London and providing negotiation, recruitment and in-house and on-line training services in derivatives documentation. Its clients include many of the world's leading banks.

Paul is also the author of Mastering Collateral Management and Documentation, written in conjunction with Christian Johnson, which was published in November 2002.

Paul has also written books on ISDA® documentation for credit derivatives and on repos and their master agreement documentation.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Introduction to the global derivatives market (15 pages)

-Size of market according to latest ISDA figures.

-Estimated amount really at risk.

-Main products

-Main currencies.

-Market users.

-How a deal is done from start to finish.

Chapter 2

Need for and evolution of the ISDA Master Agreement (9 pages)

-Inefficiency in documenting each trade in the market's early days.

-Documentation standardisation introduced by ISDA from 1985.

-How ISDA documentation evolved.

-Product Definitions


-Master Agreement types.

Chapter 3

Section by section clear analysis of the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement (95 pages).

The idea is as before to have a block of ISDA Master Agreement text on one page and a clear explanation of it on the opposite page.

ISDA is willing for Pearson to reproduce the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement in this format provided it pays the USD 5,000 licensing fee referred to in Section 2 above.

Chapter 4

Section by section clear analysis of the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement (200 pages).

Same format.

ISDA is willing for Pearson to reproduce the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement in this format provided it pays the USD 5,000 licensing fee referred to in Section 2 above.

Chapter 5

Legal issues relating to the ISDA Master Agreements (35 pages)

UK issues

-Gaming laws

-Capacity and authority of transacting parties.

-Ultra vires considerations.

-the Hammersmith and Fulham case and local authorities as swaps counterparties.

-Protection from case law and the 1985 Companies Act in the UK.

-specialised entities e.g. insurance companies, pension funds, unit trusts, building societies.

-The concept of suitability.

-Enforceability of close-out netting and set-off.

-Automatic Early Termination.

-The ISDA collective legal opinions.

-Third Party Rights.

New section on US issues

Chapter 6

Credit issues relating to the ISDA Master Agreements (15 pages)

-Addition of Specified Entities.

-Specified Indebtedness variations.

-Downgrade from Cross Default to cross acceleration.

-Threshold Amounts.

-Credit Event Upon Merger variations.

-Additional Termination Events.

-Set Off


-Political risk.

-The “vanilla ISDA”.

Chapter 7

Operational issues relating to the ISDA Master Agreements (8 pages)




-Close out

-Administrative matters.

Chapter 8

A sample 1992 ISDA Master Agreement Schedule and accompanying commentary (up to 175 pages).

Chapter 9

A sample 2002 ISDA Master Agreement Schedule and accompanying commentary (up to 30 pages)

In each of these chapters the idea is to have a block of Schedule text on one page and a clear explanation of it on the opposite page.

Chapter 10

Provisions for special entity types and those sought by US counterparties

As per the first edition with some updating. (50 pages). To include new and additional commentary on loan-linked ISDAs, covered bond ISDAs and Hedge fund ISDAs.

Chapters 8, 9 and 10 are the hub of the book because the Schedule is what negotiators actually negotiate and where they need core knowledge and awareness of possible variations and their implications.

Chapter 11 (15 pages)

The effect of the credit crunch on the OTC derivatives market.

Examples of termination letters.

Chapter 12

New developments (5 pages).

Annexes (20 pages)

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