Making Sense of Credit Default Swaps

Making Sense of Credit Default Swaps


Credit default swaps or CDS, are derivative instruments that allow investors protection against credit events such as downgrades of or defaults by single name or a basket of obligors. With the introduction of central clearing a decade ago, the CDS market size has grown dramatically and is relied on for market risk transfers mostly through offerings of single name CDS.

This IFM course provides a comprehensive understanding of credit default swaps and associated derivatives and debt instruments, which include listed and centrally-cleared contracts used to measure and offset risk associated with deteriorating credit quality. The program also covers the fiver major CDS indices, that make up more than 90% of index CDS market activity.

During this two-day program we will explain the CDS and Clearing mechanics, trading conventions, pricing, applications in holding and trading strategies using CDS. The program also examines recent CDS market research, controversy regarding the fixed income markets related to CDS, and modifications to market conventions, and new regulations. The course includes case studies to show the application of the concepts to real world situations.

Learning Outcome

After the course you will be able to:

  • Explain the similarities and differences of CDS as compared to other financial products used for transfer of market risk, including insurance
  • Know the different types of credit events and the ISDA global protocol
  • Understand the roles of ISDA and CCPs in establishing CDS market conventions
  • Comprehend the fundamentals of pricing, evaluation and liquidity
  • Know how CDS works in the real-world, to take and manage risk and maximize a portfolio management strategy
  • Apply different CDS trading strategies – speculation, hedging and arbitrage
  • Rationalize five applications for trading CDS
  • Discuss current CDS market controversy that exists among regulators and market participants alike


Who Should Attend

The course is suited for a broad range of participants on both the buy side and sell side, including:

  • Traders
  • Asset managers
  • Loan portfolio managers
  • Product control, finance and internal audit
  • Risk managers
  • Legal and compliance staff
  • Regulators


Level: Intermediate. Fixed Income or equivalent knowledge is required.



The IFM is monitoring the continuing developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). Based on the information currently available, there are no plans to postpone or cancel any scheduled IFM courses.

We appreciate that the decision whether to attend a course is a personal one. As the situation is fluid, circumstance may change. If so, you may reschedule your course date or cancel registration without financial penalty. We also encourage you to monitor the advice of local public health authorities, visit the CDC website for additional information, and follow the WHO’s Travel Advice for news and recommendations on how to protect yourself from infection.

Registration Options

This course is not currently offered. Please email us at and we will notify you when it is available

If you are unable to complete your online order, please contact the IFM at 202-223-1528, or via e-mail at International orders require us to quote you an exact fee before process your order.