Overcoming the barriers to a CDS futures market

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Interest rate swap futures contract Swapnote was the last new fixed-income derivative to be launched on an exchange. It debuted on the London International Financial Futures Exchange in 2001.

So there was some excitement in the middle of last year when Eurex, a futures and options exchange, announced its plans to issue a credit default swap (CDS) futures contract before the end of 2005. The contract, based on the iTraxx European CDS indices, would have a notional value of EUR100,000 and a mat