Credit Default Swaps (CDS) – Everything You Need to Know!

Credit Default Swaps (CDS)

In the world of financial investment, credit default swaps (CDS) is one of the most popular terms. It refers to the buying of credits from another lender or to exchange the debts in case of default of payment. A derivative product assists investors to nominate any other investor to reimburse the amount at the time default payment is made by the investors for any reason.

Many of the CDS are bought in the form of a contract with the seller on a regular basis or a premium payment & offset the risk for a limited amount of period. It acted as a great savior in times of Great Recession (2008) & European Sovereign Debt Crisis ( 2010).


When an investor bank defaults an amount of payment, it gets help from credit default swaps to transfer the credit and secure the amount. Usually, banks use it during speculation, hedging, or in arbitrage where the insurance policy of the underlying asset is proceeded against credit accounts.

The debt instrument where CDS is written is known as reference entity & the amount of debt to be issued is known as reference obligations through bonds.

During borrowers defaulting, a bank can credit the same through CDS to hedge the risks. Emerging market bonds, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed bonds, or corporate bonds are some of the examples of credit default swap instruments.


Credit Default Swaps are an exceptional tool to shift any default payments for different customers to back their credit with a flexible cash disposition. Thus, whenever any unfortunate event occurs, it comes forward and settles the matter for the borrower.

During the Great recession the AIG group, Lehman brothers & Bear Sterns issued CDS to back the mortgage-backed defaults. Also, in the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, raising money through debt instruments became significantly popular.

In conclusion, CDS can provide numerous facilities in terms of risk mitigation of the borrower giving less exposure to underlying assets. If traded over a significant amount of time, it can prove to be a consolidated way to counter financial defaults.