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An equilibrium model of credit rating agencies

  • Steinar Holden

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

  • Gisle James Natvik

    ()

    (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

  • Adrien Vigier

    ()

    (University of Oslo)

We develop a model of credit rating agencies (CRAs) based on reputation concerns. Ratings affect investors' choice and, thereby, also issuers' access to funding and default risk. We show that - in equilibrium - the informational content of credit ratings is inferior to that of CRAs' private information. We find that CRAs have a pro-cyclical impact on default risk: in a liquidity boom CRAs help resolve investors' coordination problem, and lower the probability of default; in a liquidity crunch CRAs raise the probability of default. Furthermore, rating standards tend to be pro-cyclical, while biased CRA-incentives will ultimately be selfdefeating.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2012/23.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 18 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2012_23
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  1. John Kiff & Sylwia Nowak & Liliana Schumacher, 2012. "Are Rating Agencies Powerful? An Investigation Into the Impact and Accuracy of Sovereign Ratings," IMF Working Papers 12/23, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Bussière, M. & Ristiniemi, A., 2012. "Credit Ratings and Debt Crises," Working papers 396, Banque de France.
  3. Goh, Jeremy C. & Ederington, Louis H., 1999. "Cross-sectional variation in the stock market reaction to bond rating changes," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 101-112.
  4. Ismailescu, Iuliana & Kazemi, Hossein, 2010. "The reaction of emerging market credit default swap spreads to sovereign credit rating changes," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2861-2873, December.
  5. Adam B. Ashcraft & Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham & James Vickery, 2010. "MBS ratings and the mortgage credit boom," Staff Reports 449, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 1999. "Coordination Risk and the Price of Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1241R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2002.
  7. Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2004. "Informational Efficiency of Credit Default Swap and Stock Markets: The Impact of Credit Rating Announcements," CEPR Discussion Papers 4250, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Afonso, António & Furceri, Davide & Gomes, Pedro, 2011. "Sovereign credit ratings and financial markets linkages: application to European data," Working Paper Series 1347, European Central Bank.
  9. Jens Hilscher & Mungo Wilson, 2011. "Credit ratings and credit risk," Working Papers 31, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
  10. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 2009. "Credit Ratings Failures and Policy Options," EIEF Working Papers Series 0912, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2009.
  11. Carlsson, H. & van Damme, E.E.C., 1993. "Global games and equilibrium selection," Other publications TiSEM 49a54f00-dcec-4fc1-9488-4, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  12. G. Ferri & L.-G. Liu & J. E. Stiglitz, 1999. "The Procyclical Role of Rating Agencies: Evidence from the East Asian Crisis," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 28(3), pages 335-355, November.
  13. Douglas W. Diamond & Philip H. Dybvig, 2000. "Bank runs, deposit insurance, and liquidity," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 14-23.
  14. Mariano, Beatriz, 2012. "Market power and reputational concerns in the ratings industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1616-1626.
  15. Vasiliki Skreta & Laura Veldkamp, 2008. "Ratings Shopping and Asset Complexity: A Theory of Ratings Inflation," Working Papers 08-28, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  16. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Catalytic Finance: When Does It Work?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm339, Yale School of Management.
  17. Christian Hellwig & Arijit Mukherji & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2005. "Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 11191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Boot, Arnoud W A & Milbourn, Todd, 2002. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanism," CEPR Discussion Papers 3331, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. John M. Griffin & Dragon Yongjun Tang, 2012. "Did Subjectivity Play a Role in CDO Credit Ratings?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(4), pages 1293-1328, 08.
  20. Hull, John & Predescu, Mirela & White, Alan, 2004. "The relationship between credit default swap spreads, bond yields, and credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2789-2811, November.
  21. Faure-Grimaud, Antoine & Peyrache, Eloïc & Quesada, Lucía, 2005. "The Ownership of Ratings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Carlson Mark & Hale Galina B, 2006. "Rating Agencies and Sovereign Debt Rollover," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-32, September.
  23. Mathis, Jérôme & McAndrews, James & Rochet, Jean-Charles, 2009. "Rating the raters: Are reputation concerns powerful enough to discipline rating agencies?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 657-674, July.
  24. Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Feedback Effects of Credit Ratings," 2011 Meeting Papers 1338, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Galil, Koresh & Soffer, Gil, 2011. "Good news, bad news and rating announcements: An empirical investigation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 3101-3119, November.
  26. Holthausen, Robert W. & Leftwich, Richard W., 1986. "The effect of bond rating changes on common stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 57-89, September.
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