The first interest rate swap took place in 1981 between IBM and the World Bank. Yet, despite their relative youth, swaps have exploded in popularity. In 1987, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association reported that the swap market had a face value of $865.6 billion. By mid-2006, according to the Bank for International Settlements, this figure exceeded $250 trillion. That`s more than 15 times the U.S. public stock market. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. «FOMC Statement: The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank announce the reintroduction of temporary liquidity exchange facilities in U.S. dollars.» Access on July 29, 2020.
The most common type of swap is an interest rate swap. Some companies may have comparative advantages in fixed-rate markets, while others have a comparative advantage over variable interest rates in the market. When companies want to borrow, they look for cheap credit, that is, the market where they have comparative advantages. However, this can lead to a company that says it is fixed if it wants to swim or without credit, if it wants to be fixed. This is where a swap comes in. A swap converts a fixed-rate loan into a variable rate loan or vice versa. From the fixed-rate taxpayer`s point of view, the swap can be considered to have opposing positions. In other words, unlike most standardized options and futures, swaps are not exchange-traded instruments.
Instead, swap contracts are bespoke contracts negotiated between private parties on the over-the-counter market. Businesses and financial institutions dominate the swap market, and few (if at all) individuals participate. Because swaps take place in the over-the-counter market, there is always a risk of a counterparty defaulting. Most swaps are negotiated without a prescription (OTC), «tailor-made» for counterparties. However, the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 provides for a multilateral platform for swap quotes, swap execution facility (SEF) and the requirement to report and settle swaps on stock markets or clearing houses, which subsequently led to the creation of exchange data repositories (SDRs), a central thinker of swap and registration data.  Data providers such as Bloomberg and major exchanges such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest U.S. futures market, and the Chicago Board Options Exchange, have signed up as SDR.