Interest Rate Swap Policy

Approved by the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees,

October 24, 2008


This policy is promulgated by the Board of Trustees pursuant to the authority conferred
upon it by §23-41-104(1), C.R.S. (2008), to set forth a policy governing the use by the
School of interest rate swap transactions for the purpose of either reducing the cost of
existing or planned debt, or to hedge the interest rate of existing or planned debt. By
using swaps in a prudent manner, the School can take advantage of market
opportunities to reduce costs and reduce interest rate risk. The use of swaps must be
tied directly to School debt instruments, and the School shall not enter into swap
transactions for speculative purposes. This policy shall supersede any previously
promulgated CSM policy that is in conflict herewith.


To enter into a Master Swap Agreement (which governs each swap transaction), the
School must receive approval from the President, Finance and Audit Committee of the
Board and the Board of Trustees. The School must also receive an opinion from bond
counsel that the agreement relating to the swap transaction is a legal, valid, and binding
obligation of the School and that entering into the transaction complies with applicable
State and federal laws.


Each new Master Swap Agreement shall contain terms and conditions as set forth in the
International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA) Master Agreement, as
amended, and such other terms and conditions including schedules and confirmations
as deemed necessary by an Authorized Representative.


Swaps can be procured via competitive bids or on a negotiated basis

The competitive bid should include a minimum of three firms with counterparty
credit ratings of ‘A’ or ‘A2’ or better from Standard & Poor’s or Moody’s,

Swaps may be procured by negotiated methods if a determination is made that
due to the complexity of a particular transaction, a negotiated bid would result in
the most favorable pricing.

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Interest Rate Swap Policy

Approved by the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees,

October 24, 2008


Certain risks are created when the School enters into any swap transaction. In order to
manage the associated risks, guidelines and parameters for each risk category follow.

Value Owned by Counterparty
To limit and diversify the School’s counterparty risk and to monitor credit
exposure to each counterparty, the School may not enter into a swap transaction
with an otherwise qualified counterparty unless the cumulative mark-to-market
value owed by the counterparty (and its unconditional guarantor, if applicable) to
the School shall be less than or equal to $10 million.

Calculation of Value Owned
The $10 million limitation shall be the sum of all mark-to market values between
the subject counterparty and the School regardless of the type of swap
transaction, net of collateral posted by the counterparty. Collateral will consist of
cash, U. S. Treasury securities, and Federal Agency securities guaranteed
unconditionally by the full faith and credit of the U. S. Government. Collateral
shall be deposited with a third party trustee acceptable to School or as mutually
agreed upon between School and each counterparty.

Limits Based on Credit Rating
Specific limits by counterparty are based on the cumulative mark-to-market value
of the swap(s) and the credit rating of the counterparty. The limits are as follows:

(a) Aaa/AAA; $10 million
(b) Aa1/AA+; $9 million
(c) Aa2/AA; $8 million
(d) Aa3/AA-; $7 million
(e) A1/A+; $6 million
(f) A2/A; $5 million

The School will not accept a counterparty with a rating of less than A2/A.

Downgraded Rating
If counterparty’s credit rating is downgraded such that the cumulative mark-to-
market value of all swaps between counterparty and the School exceeds the
maximum permitted by this policy, the counterparty must terminate a portion of
the swap, post collateral, or provide other credit enhancement that is satisfactory
to the School and ensures compliance with this policy.

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Interest Rate Swap Policy

Approved by the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees,

October 24, 2008

When implementing an interest rate swap transaction, the School shall
consider the following risks possible to swap transactions:

Termination Risk
The School shall consider the merits of including a provision that permits it to
optionally terminate a swap agreement at any time over the term of the
agreement (elective termination right). In general, exercising the right to
optionally terminate an agreement should produce a benefit to the School, either
through receipt of a payment from a termination, or if a termination payment is
made by the School, a conversion to a more beneficial debt instrument or credit
relationship. If no other remedies are available, it is possible that a termination
payment by the School may be required in the event of termination of a swap
agreement due to a counterparty default or following a decrease in credit rating.

Amortization Risk
The amortization schedules of the debt and associated swap transaction should
be closely matched for the duration of the swap. Mismatched amortization
schedules can result in a less than satisfactory hedge and create unnecessary
risk. In no circumstance may the term of a swap transaction extend beyond the
final maturity date of the affected debt instrument, or in the case of a refunding
transaction, beyond the final maturity date of the refunding bonds.

Basis Index Risk
Basis risk arises as a result of movement in the underlying variable rate indices
that may not be in tandem, creating a cost differential that could result in a net
cash outflow from the School. Basis risk can also result from the use of floating,
but different, indices. To mitigate basis risk, any index used as part of an interest
rate swap agreement shall be a recognized market index, including but not
limited to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) or
the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).

Tax Risk
Tax risk is the risk that tax laws will change, resulting in a change in the marginal
tax rates on swaps and their underlying assets. Tax risk is also present in all tax-
exempt debt issuances. Finance and Administration will need to understand and
document tax risk for a contemplated swap transaction as part of the approval


Counterparty – a participant in a swap or other derivatives agreement who exchanges
payments based on interest rates or other criteria with another counterparty.
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Interest Rate Swap Policy

Approved by the Colorado School of Mines Board of Trustees,

October 24, 2008

Counterparty Long-Term Debt Rating – lowest prevailing rating from Standard &
Poor’s / Moody’s maximum cumulative mark-to-market value of swaps owed to School
by counterparty (net of collateral posted).

Hedge – a transaction entered into to reduce exposure to market fluctuations.

Interest Rate Swap – a transaction in which two parties agree to exchange future net
cash flows based on predetermined interest rate indices calculated on an agreed
notional amount. The swap is not a debt instrument and there is no exchange of

ISDA Master Agreement – the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc, is
the global trade association for the derivatives industry. The ISDA Master Agreement is
the basic governing document that serves as a framework for all interest rate swap,
swap enhancement, and derivative transactions between two counterparties. It is a
standard form used throughout the industry.

London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) – the rate of interest at which banks borrow
funds from other banks in the London interbank market. It is a commonly used
benchmark for interest rate transactions ranging from one month to one year.

Mark-to-Market – calculation of the value of a financial instrument (like an interest rate
swap) based on the current market rates or prices of the underlying indices.

Master Resolution – the Master Resolution Establishing The Board of Trustees of the
Colorado School of Mines System Enterprise Revenue Bonds, adopted on August 24,
2007 and each supplemental resolution thereto authorizing parity debt.

Notional Amount – the size of the interest rate swap and the dollar amount used to
calculate interest payments.

SIFMA Index – the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the principal
benchmark for the floating rate payments for tax-exempt issuers. The index is a national
rate based on a market basket of high-grade, seven-day, tax-exempt variable rate bond

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