Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
The ongoing effect of SFAS No. 133 and related amendments and interpretations on our consolidated financial statements will be determined each period by several factors, including the specific hedging instruments in place and their relationships to hedged items, as well as market conditions at the end of each period.
Interest Rate Risk Management
We have entered into domestic interest rate swaps to achieve a targeted mix of fixed and variable rate debt, where we principally receive fixed rates and pay variable rates based on LIBOR. These swaps are designated as fair value hedges and hedge against changes in the fair value of our debt portfolio. We record the interest rate swaps at fair value in our balance sheet as assets and liabilities and adjust debt for the change in its fair value due to changes in interest rates. During 2008, we entered into domestic interest rate swaps, designated as fair value hedges, with a notional principal value of approximately $2 billion. The fair value of our entire portfolio of interest rate swaps at December 31, 2008 included in Other assets and Long-term debt was $415 million.
Foreign Exchange Risk Management
During 2008, we entered into cross currency swaps designated as cash flow hedges to exchange the net proceeds from the December 18, 2008 Verizon Wireless and Verizon Wireless Capital LLC offering (see Note 10) from British Pound Sterling and Euros into U.S. dollars, to fix our future interest and principal payments in U.S. dollars as well as mitigate the impact of foreign currency transaction gains or losses. We record these contracts at fair value and any gains or losses on the contract will, over time, offset the gains or losses on the underlying debt obligations.
Net Investment Hedges
During 2007, we entered into foreign currency forward contracts to hedge a portion of our net investment in Vodafone Omnitel. Changes in fair value of these contracts due to Euro exchange rate fluctuations are recognized in Accumulated other comprehensive loss and partially offset the impact of foreign currency changes on the value of our net investment. During 2008, our positions in these foreign currency forward contracts were settled. As of December 31, 2008, Accumulated other comprehensive loss includes unrecognized losses of approximately $166 million ($108 million after-tax) related to these hedge contracts, which along with the unrealized foreign currency translation balance on the investment hedged, remain in Accumulated other comprehensive loss until the investment is sold.
Concentrations of Credit Risk
Financial instruments that subject us to concentrations of credit risk consist primarily of temporary cash investments, short-term and long-term investments, trade receivables, certain notes receivable, including lease receivables, and derivative contracts. Our policy is to deposit our temporary cash investments with major financial institutions. Counterparties to our derivative contracts are also major financial institutions. The financial institutions have all been accorded high ratings by primary rating agencies. We limit the dollar amount of contracts entered into with any one financial institution and monitor our counterparties' credit ratings. We generally do not give or receive collateral on swap agreements due to our credit rating and those of our counterparties. While we may be exposed to credit losses due to the nonperformance of our counterparties, we consider the risk remote and do not expect the settlement of these transactions to have a material effect on our results of operations or financial condition.