Right to Terminate Following Event of Default - ISDA Provision

From The Jolly Contrarian
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2002 ISDA Master Agreement

A Jolly Contrarian owner’s manual™

The JC’s Nutshell summary of this term has moved uptown to the subscription-only ninja tier. For the cost of ½ a weekly 🍺 you can get it here. Sign up at Substack.

ISDA Text: 6(a)

6(a) Right to Terminate Following Event of Default. If at any time an Event of Default with respect to a party (the “Defaulting Party”) has occurred and is then continuing, the other party (the “Non-defaulting Party”) may, by not more than 20 days’ notice to the Defaulting Party specifying the relevant Event of Default, designate a day not earlier than the day such notice is effective as an Early Termination Date in respect of all outstanding Transactions. If, however, “Automatic Early Termination” is specified in the Schedule as applying to a party, then an Early Termination Date in respect of all outstanding Transactions will occur immediately upon the occurrence with respect to such party of an Event of Default specified in Section 5(a)(vii)(1), (3), (5), (6) or, to the extent analogous thereto, (8), and as of the time immediately preceding the institution of the relevant proceeding or the presentation of the relevant petition upon the occurrence with respect to such party of an Event of Default specified in Section 5(a)(vii)(4) or, to the extent analogous thereto, (8).

Related agreements and comparisons

Click here for the text of Section 6(a) in the 1992 ISDA
Click to compare this section in the 1992 ISDA and 2002 ISDA.

Resources and Navigation

This provision in the 1992

Resources Wikitext | Nutshell wikitext | 1992 ISDA wikitext | 2002 vs 1992 Showdown | 2006 ISDA Definitions | 2008 ISDA | JC’s ISDA code project
Navigation Preamble | 1(a) (b) (c) | 2(a) (b) (c) (d) | 3(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) | 4(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) | 55(a) Events of Default: 5(a)(i) Failure to Pay or Deliver 5(a)(ii) Breach of Agreement 5(a)(iii) Credit Support Default 5(a)(iv) Misrepresentation 5(a)(v) Default Under Specified Transaction 5(a)(vi) Cross Default 5(a)(vii) Bankruptcy 5(a)(viii) Merger Without Assumption 5(b) Termination Events: 5(b)(i) Illegality 5(b)(ii) Force Majeure Event 5(b)(iii) Tax Event 5(b)(iv) Tax Event Upon Merger 5(b)(v) Credit Event Upon Merger 5(b)(vi) Additional Termination Event (c) (d) (e) | 6(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) | 7 | 8(a) (b) (c) (d) | 9(a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) | 10 | 11 | 12(a) (b) | 13(a) (b) (c) (d) | 14 |

Index: Click to expand:



+++ COVID-19 UPDATE +++ COVID-19 UPDATE +++ COVID-19 UPDATE +++ See section 12 for what this all means in a time of global pandemic lockdown

See also the separate article all about Automatic Early Termination, which features in the last sentence of this Section, but deserves a page all of its own.

No change in the Early Termination Date definition from 1992 ISDA to 2002 ISDA (no real surprise there) but the close out methodology between the two versions, by which one works out what must be paid and by whom on an Early Termination Date, and which you are encouraged to follow in all its gory detail starting at Section 6(a), is really quite different, and notwithstanding the fact that the 2002 ISDA version was meant to address the many and varied complaints levelled by market practitioners at the 1992 ISDA we still find the 1992 version in use in the occasional market centred in unsophisticated rural backwaters like, oooh, I don’t know, New York.

Those with a keen eye will notice that, but for the title, Section 6(a) of the 2002 ISDA is the same as Section 6(a) of the 1992 ISDA and, really, not a million miles away from the svelte form of Section 6(a) in the 1987 ISDA — look on that as the Broadcaster to the 1992’s Telecaster. There is one key difference, though: the evolution of the Automatic Early Termination provision. More about that below.

Here is a comparison between Section 6(a) in the 1987 ISDA and Section 6(a) in the 1992 ISDA for purists and weirdoes.


Everyone’s hair will be on fire

This is likely to be a time where the market is dislocated, your credit officer is running around with her hair on fire, your normally affable counterparty is suddenly diffident, evasive, or strangely just not picking up the phone, and your online master agreement database has crashed because everyone in the firm is interrogating it at once. The sense of dreary quietude in which your Master Agreement was negotiated will certainly not prevail. Bear this in mind when negotiating. For example, the elaborate steps your counterparty insists on for your sending close-out notices, to fifteen different addresses, in five different formats and with magic words in the heading, will really trip your gears, especially if some of those methods are no longer possible. There is an argument that some buy-side counterparties complicate the formal process of closing out specifically to buy time and deter their dealers from pulling the trigger. It is a pretty neat trick, if so: you can expect the dealer’s credit department to puke all over a margin lockup, but a bit of fiddling around the edges of a Notices section? Sure, whatever.

Bear in mind, too: this is one time the commercial imperative will count for nothing. This is it: literally, the end game. If you close out there is no business: you are terminating your trading relationship altogether with extreme prejudice. The normal iterated game of prisoner’s dilemma has turned into a single round game. Game theorists will realise at once that the calculus is very different, and much, much less appealing.

So: good luck keeping your head while all around you are losing theirs.

Close-out sequence

Once you have designated an Early Termination Date for your ISDA Master Agreement, proceed to 6(c) to understand the Effect of Designation. Or learn about it in one place with the NC.’s handy cribsheet, “closing out an ISDA”.

The Notices provisions in Section 12 are relevant to how you may serve this notice. In a nutshell, in writing, by hand. Don’t email it, fax it, telex it, or send it by any kind of pony express or carrier pigeon unless your pigeon/pony is willing to provide an affidavit of service.

Premium content

Here the free bit runs out. Subscribers click 👉 here. New readers sign up 👉 here and, for ½ a weekly 🍺 go full ninja about all these juicy topics 👇
  • The JC’s famous Nutshell summary of this clause
  • ISDA paleontology: the development of the Automatic Early Termination concept from its rudimentary start in the 1987 ISDA. It is always enlightening studying the fossil record.
  • A quite cool table summarising the different Events of Default and Termination Events and how they are terminated.
  • Closing out an ISDA Master Agreement following an Event of Default. A step-by-step guide.
  • What does “by not more than 20 days’ notice” mean? What is it for? A lengthy essay.

See also