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Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest

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  • Efing, Matthias
  • Hau, Harald

Abstract

We test if issuers of asset- and mortgage-backed securities receive rating favors from agencies with which they maintain strong business relationships. Controlling for issuer fixed effects and a large set of credit risk determinants, we show that agencies publish better ratings for those issuers that provide them with more bilateral securitization business. Such rating favors are larger for very complex structured debt deals and for deals issued during the credit boom period. Our analysis is based on a new deal-level rating statistic that accounts for the full distribution of tranche ratings below the AAA cut-off point of a structured debt deal.

Suggested Citation

  • Efing, Matthias & Hau, Harald, 2015. "Structured debt ratings: Evidence on conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 46-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:116:y:2015:i:1:p:46-60
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2014.11.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Kempf, Elisabeth, 2020. "The job rating game: Revolving doors and analyst incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 41-67.
    2. Morkoetter, Stefan & Stebler, Roman & Westerfeld, Simone, 2017. "Competition in the credit rating Industry: Benefits for investors and issuers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 235-257.
    3. Markus K. Brunnermeier & Sam Langfield & Marco Pagano & Ricardo Reis & Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh & Dimitri Vayanos, 2017. "ESBies: safety in the tranches," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 32(90), pages 175-219.
    4. Martin Kuncl, 2016. "Fragility of Resale Markets for Securitized Assets and Policy of Asset Purchases," Staff Working Papers 16-46, Bank of Canada.
    5. Mariassunta Giannetti & José María Liberti & Jason Sturgess, 2017. "Information Sharing and Rating Manipulation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 30(9), pages 3269-3304.
    6. Deena Zaidi, 2015. "Eurozone Debt Crisis and Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies," Global Credit Review (GCR), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 5(01), pages 99-111.
    7. Efing, Matthias, 2015. "Arbitraging the Basel securitization framework: Evidence from German ABS investment," Discussion Papers 40/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Baghai, Ramin P. & Becker, Bo, 2020. "Reputations and credit ratings: Evidence from commercial mortgage-backed securities," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(2), pages 425-444.
    9. Kilian R. Dinkelaker & Andreas-Walter Mattig & Stefan Morkoetter, 2019. "A Closer Look at Credt Rating Processes: Uncovering the Impact of Analyst Rotation," Working Papers on Finance 1911, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    10. Baghai, Ramin P. & Becker, Bo, 2018. "Non-rating revenue and conflicts of interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(1), pages 94-112.
    11. Faiza Sajjad & Muhammad Zakaria, 2018. "Credit Ratings and Liquidity Risk for the Optimization of Debt Maturity Structure," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-16, May.
    12. Baghai, Ramin P. & Becker, Bo, 2018. "Reputations and credit ratings: evidence from commercial mortgage-backed securities," CEPR Discussion Papers 12648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Michael R King & Steven Ongena & Nikola Tarashev, 2016. "Bank standalone credit ratings," BIS Working Papers 542, Bank for International Settlements.
    14. Deku, Solomon Y. & Kara, Alper & Zhou, Yifan, 2019. "Securitization, bank behaviour and financial stability: A systematic review of the recent empirical literature," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 245-254.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit ratings; Ratings inflation; Conflict of interest; Structured debt;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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