ISDA Master Agreement

Definition of 'ISDA Master Agreement'


A standard agreement used in over-the-counter derivatives transactions. The ISDA Master Agreement, published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), is a document that outlines the terms applied to a derivatives transaction between two parties. Once the two parties agree to the standard terms, they do not have to renegotiate each time a new transaction is entered into.

Investopedia explains 'ISDA Master Agreement'


Unlike exchange-traded derivatives, over-the-counter derivatives are traded between two parties and not through an exchange or intermediary. The huge values and volumes in the OTC market increases the pressure on traders to make sure they are not exposed to undue risk, which is something that can easily creep up in two party negotiations. These risks prompted the creation of the ISDA Master Agreement in 1985, and the agreement is now well known and widely-used.

Using the ISDA Master Agreement in derivatives trading has several advantages. It provides both parties with clear definitions of all contract terms, and because it can take a long period of time to negotiate, both parties are likely to be very familiar with its material. Using a master agreement keeps the two parties from having to enter into new rounds of negotiations for future transactions, which saves time and legal fees. The ISDA Master Agreement also makes close-out and netting easier, as it bridges the gap between various standards used in different jurisdictions.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  2. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  3. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  4. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  5. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  6. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
Trading Center