Effective Date - ISDA Definition

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ISDA Definitions

In a Nutshell Section 3.2:

3.2. “Effective Date” means the date specified as such, being the first day of the Term, and not adjusted for any Business Day Convention (unless otherwise agreed).
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2006 ISDA Definitions: The full text of Section 3.2:

3.2. Effective Date. “Effective Date” means, in respect of a Swap Transaction, the date specified as such in the related Confirmation, which date is the first day of the Term of the Swap Transaction. The Effective Date shall not be subject to adjustment in accordance with any Business Day Convention unless the parties specify in the related Confirmation that the Effective Date will be adjusted in accordance with a specified Business Day Convention.
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Resources: 2006 ISDA Definitions Articles: 1 General definitions | 2 Parties | 3 Term and dates | 4 Definitions relating to payments | 5 Fixed Amounts | 6 Floating Amounts | 7 | 8 | 9 Payments | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 Exercise of Options | 14 | 15 | 16 Optional Early Termination | 17 Mandatory Early Termination | 18 Cash Settlement | 19 ISDA Settlement Matrix |

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Amazing how many words you can contrive to take to say nothing when you put your mind to it. The first day of your Transaction. Thanks for writing in, ISDA.

The Effective Date is the day when everything starts for real on a Transaction — at which point payments start happening, Calculation Period begin to run and so on. To be contrasted with the Trade Date, being the date when traded and went “on risk” — at that point you struck your prices (Initial Price, Strike Price, so on).

So the sequence is Trade Date, Effective Date — — and Termination Date.