Landmark development - The Isda master agreement (1993)

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In the early 1980s, most swap dealers had their own standard form proprietary contracts. Linguistic and procedural norms differed from firm to firm, right down to the definition of swap counterparties and how to determine Libor. Every deal required the drawing up of comprehensive standalone legal agreements, painstakingly picked over by lawyers and negotiating teams. Not only was this complicated, it was inefficient: the legal separation of trades meant there was no basis for close-out

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