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Multiple ratings and credit standards: differences of opinion in the credit rating industry

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  • Richard Cantor
  • Frank Packer

Abstract

Rating-dependent financial regulators assume that the same letter ratings from different agencies imply the same levels of default risk. Most "third" agencies, however, assign significantly higher ratings on average than Moody's and Standard & Poor's. We show that, contrary to the claims of some rating industry professionals, sample selection bias can account for at most half of the observed average difference in ratings. We also investigate the economic rationale for using multiple rating agencies. Among the many variables considered, only size and bond-issuance history are consistently related to the probability of an issuer seeking third ratings. The probability ties to improve their standing under rating-dependent regulations.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1996. "Multiple ratings and credit standards: differences of opinion in the credit rating industry," Staff Reports 12, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:12
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ying Yi Tsai & Li-Gang Liu, 2010. "Emergence of Rating Agencies : Implications for Establishing a Regional Rating Agency in Asia," Finance Working Papers 22824, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Miloš Božovic & Branko Uroševic & Boško Živkovic, 2011. "Credit Rating Agencies and Moral Hazard," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(2), pages 219-227, June.
    3. Morales, Jorge & Tuesta, Pedro, 1998. "Calificaciones de crédito y riesgo país," Revista Estudios Económicos, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú, issue 3.
    4. Cantor, Richard & Packer, Frank, 1997. "Differences of opinion and selection bias in the credit rating industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1395-1417, October.
    5. Alexandr Karminsky & Anatoly Peresetsky, 2009. "Ratings as Measure of Financial Risk: Evolution, Function and Usage," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 1-2, pages 86-102.
    6. Menz, Klaus-Michael, 2010. "Market discipline and the evaluation of Euro financial bonds--An empirical analysis," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 315-328, September.
    7. Santos, Joao A.C., 2006. "Why firm access to the bond market differs over the business cycle: A theory and some evidence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(10), pages 2715-2736, October.
    8. Daryl Koehn & Joe Ueng, 2005. "Evaluating the Evaluators: Should Investors Trust Corporate Governance Metrics Ratings?," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 9(2), pages 111-128, June.
    9. Griep, Clifford & De Stefano, Michael, 2001. "Standard & Poor's official response to the Basel Committee's proposal," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 149-169, January.
    10. Kraft, Pepa, 2015. "Do rating agencies cater? Evidence from rating-based contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 264-283.
    11. Lawrence White, 2005. "Good Intentions Gone Awry: A Policy Analysis of the SEC's Regulation of the Bond Rating Industry," Working Papers 05-16, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    12. Shin, Yoon S. & Moore, William T., 2003. "Explaining credit rating differences between Japanese and U.S. agencies," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 327-344.
    13. Fausto Hernández-Trillo & Ricardo Smith, 2006. "Rating Sub-National Government Debt in LDCs: Does size matter?," Working papers DTE 370, CIDE, División de Economía.
    14. David Brookfield & Phillip Ormrod, 2000. "Credit agency regulation and the impact of credit ratings in the international bond market," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 311-331.

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