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Competition in the Credit Rating Industry: Benefits for Investors and Issuers

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  • Morkoetter, Stefan

    ()

  • Stebler, Roman

    ()

  • Westerfeld, Simone

    ()

Abstract

We empirically investigate the benefits of multiple ratings not only at issuance of debt instruments but also during the subsequent monitoring phase. Using a record of monthly credit rating migration data on all U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities rated by Standard & Poor's, Moody's, and Fitch between 1985 and 2012 (154'600 tranches), our results provide empirical evidence that rating agencies put more effort in rating and outlook revisions when tranches have assigned multiple ratings. Furthermore, we demonstrate that in the case of multiple ratings, agencies do a better job in discriminating tranches with respect to default risk. On the downside, we observe a shift in collateral towards senior tranches and incentives for issuers to engage in rating shopping activities, but find no evidence that rating agencies exploit such behavior to attract more rating business. Our results contribute to the literature on information production of credit ratings and extend the perspective to the monitoring period after issuance.

Suggested Citation

  • Morkoetter, Stefan & Stebler, Roman & Westerfeld, Simone, 2015. "Competition in the Credit Rating Industry: Benefits for Investors and Issuers," Working Papers on Finance 1505, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance, revised Feb 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:sfwpfi:2015:05
    as

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    File URL: http://ux-tauri.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/sfwpfi/WPF-1505.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Walter Krämer & André Güttler, 2008. "On comparing the accuracy of default predictions in the rating industry," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 343-356, March.
    2. Skreta, Vasiliki & Veldkamp, Laura, 2009. "Ratings shopping and asset complexity: A theory of ratings inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 678-695, July.
    3. Patrick Bolton & Xavier Freixas & Joel Shapiro, 2012. "The Credit Ratings Game," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 85-112, February.
    4. Yuliya Demyanyk & Otto Van Hemert, 2011. "Understanding the Subprime Mortgage Crisis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(6), pages 1848-1880.
    5. Dion Bongaerts & K. J. Martijn Cremers & William N. Goetzmann, 2012. "Tiebreaker: Certification and Multiple Credit Ratings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 67(1), pages 113-152, February.
    6. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
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    13. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multiple Ratings; Information Production; Structured Finance; Rating Agencies; Residential Mortgage-backed Securities; Rating Shopping;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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