Markets: The Credit Rating Agencies
AbstractThis paper will explore how the financial regulatory structure propelled three credit rating agencies -- Moody's, Standard & Poor's (S&P), and Fitch -- to the center of the U.S. bond markets -- and thereby virtually guaranteed that when these rating agencies did make mistakes, these mistakes would have serious consequences for the financial sector. We begin by looking at some relevant history of the industry, including the series of events that led financial regulators to outsource their judgments to the credit rating agencies (by requiring financial institutions to use the specific bond creditworthiness information that was provided by the major rating agencies) and when the credit rating agencies shifted their business model from "investor pays" to "issuer pays." We then look at how the credit rating industry evolved and how its interaction with regulatory authorities served as a barrier to entry. We then show how these ingredients combined to contribute to the subprime mortgage debacle and associated financial crisis. Finally, we consider two possible routes for public policy with respect to the credit rating industry: One route would tighten the regulation of the rating agencies, while the other route would reduce the required centrality of the rating agencies and thereby open up the bond information process in a way that has not been possible since the 1930s.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.
Volume (Year): 24 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (Spring)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
- G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
- G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit Rating Industry: a Helicopter Tour of Stylized Facts and Recent Theories," IDEI Working Papers 762, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Benjamin Käfer & Jochen Michaelis, 2012.
"Länderrisiko: Die ökonomischen Konsequenzen einer Herabstufung durch die Ratingagenturen,"
Springer, vol. 92(2), pages 95-100, February.
- Benjamin Käfer & Jochen Michaelis, 2012. "Länderrisiko: Die ökonomischen Konsequenzen einer Herabstufung durch die Rating-Agenturen," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201202, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
- Rablen, Matthew D., 2013. "Divergence in credit ratings," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 12-16.
- Matthias Efing, 2013. "Bank Capital Regulation with an Opportunistic Rating Agency," CESifo Working Paper Series 4267, CESifo Group Munich.
- Isabelle Bouty & Marie-Léandre Gomez & Carole Drucker-Godard, 2013. "Maintaining an Institution : The Institutional Work of Michelin in Haute Cuisine around the World," Post-Print hal-00782455, HAL.
- Sylvester C.W. Eijffinger, 2012. "Rating Agencies: Role and Influence of Their Sovereign Credit Risk Assessment in the Eurozone," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(6), pages 912-921, November.
- Gill, Andrej & Juranek, Steffen & Lizarazo, Christian & Visnjic, Nikolai & Walz, Uwe, 2012. "Anreize, systemische Risiken und Intransparenz: Lehren aus der Finanz- und Staatsschuldenkrise," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/01, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Bar-Isaac, Heski & Gavazza, Alessandro, 2013. "Brokers' contractual arrangements in the Manhattan residential rental market," MPRA Paper 43967, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Theurl, Theresia & Schaetzle, Dominik, 2011. "Ratingagenturen in der Kritik: Eine Analyse der Reformforderungen und -vorschläge," Arbeitspapiere 116, Westfälsche Wilhelms-Universität Münster (WWU), Institut für Genossenschaftswesen.
- Duan, Jin-Chuan & Van Laere, Elisabeth, 2012. "A public good approach to credit ratings – From concept to reality," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 3239-3247.
- Andreas Freytag & Martin Zenker, 2012. "The Credit Rating Market - Options for Appropriate Regulation," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 2012-39, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
- Bouty, Isabelle & Gomez, Marie-Léandre & Drucker-Godard, Carole, 2013. "Maintaining an Institution: the institutional work of Michelin in haute cuisine around the world," ESSEC Working Papers WP1302, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
- Mahmoud Elamin, 2012. "Believe only what you see: credit rating agencies, structured finance, and bonds," Working Paper 1222, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Hanusch, Marek & Vaaler, Paul M., 2013. "Credit rating agencies in emerging democracies : Guardians of fiscal discipline ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6379, The World Bank.
- Jeon, Doh-Shin & Lovo, Stefano, 2013. "Credit Rating Industry: a Helicopter Tour of Stylized Facts and Recent Theories," TSE Working Papers 13-376, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.