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Are Rating Agencies Powerful? An Investigation Into the Impact and Accuracy of Sovereign Ratings

  • International Monetary Fund

We find that Credit Rating Agencies (CRA)''s opinions have an impact in the cost of funding of sovereign issuers and consequently ratings are a concern for financial stability. While ratings produced by the major CRAs perform reasonably well when it comes to rank ordering default risk among sovereigns, there is evidence of rating stability failure during the recent global financial crisis. These failures suggest that ratings should incorporate the obligor''s resilience to stress scenarios. The empirical evidence also supports: (i) reform initiatives to reduce the impact of CRAs'' certification services; (ii) more stringent validation requirements for ratings if they are to be used in capital regulations; and (iii) more transparency with regard to the quantitative parameters used in the rating process.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/23.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/23
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  1. Ingo Fender & John Kiff, 2004. "CDO rating methodology: Some thoughts on model risk and its implications," BIS Working Papers 163, Bank for International Settlements.
  2. Jan Annaert & Marc De Ceuster & Patrick Van Roy & Cristina Vespro, 2009. "What determines euro area bank CDS spreads ?," Financial Stability Review, National Bank of Belgium, vol. 7(1), pages 153-169, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Louis H. Ederington & Jess B. Yawitz & Brian E. Roberts, 1987. "The Informational Content Of Bond Ratings," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 10(3), pages 211-226, 09.
  5. Reisen, Helmut & von Maltzan, Julia, 1999. "Boom and Bust and Sovereign Ratings," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 273-93, July.
  6. Venet, Baptiste & Hurlin, Christophe, 2001. "Granger Causality Tests in Panel Data Models with Fixed Coefficients," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/6159, Paris Dauphine University.
  7. Guillermo Larraín & Helmut Reisen & Julia von Maltzan, 1997. "Emerging Market Risk and Sovereign Credit Ratings," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 124, OECD Publishing.
  8. Richard Cantor & Frank Packer, 1995. "Sovereign credit ratings," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 1(Jun).
  9. Alsakka, Rasha & ap Gwilym, Owain, 2010. "Leads and lags in sovereign credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2614-2626, November.
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