IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/fsfmwp/124.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The economic function of credit rating agencies: what does the watchlist tell us?

Author

Listed:
  • Bannier, Christina E.
  • Hirsch, Christian

Abstract

Credit rating agencies do not only disclose simple ratings but announce watchlists (rating reviews) and outlooks as well. This paper analyzes the economic function underlying the review procedure. Using Moody's rating data between 1982 and 2004, we find that for borrowers of high creditworthiness, rating agencies employ watchlists primarily in order to improve the delivery of information. For low-quality borrowers, in contrast, the review procedure seems to have developed into an implicit contract `a la Boot, Milbourn, and Schmeits (2006), inducing the companies on watch to abstain from risk-augmenting actions. The agencies' economic role hence appears to have been enhanced from a pure information certification towards an active monitoring function.

Suggested Citation

  • Bannier, Christina E. & Hirsch, Christian, 2009. "The economic function of credit rating agencies: what does the watchlist tell us?," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 124, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:124
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/27929/1/605675929.PDF
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nickell, Pamela & Perraudin, William & Varotto, Simone, 2000. "Stability of rating transitions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 203-227, January.
    2. Winnie P. H. Poon & Junsoo Lee & Benton E. Gup, 2009. "Do Solicitations Matter in Bank Credit Ratings? Results from a Study of 72 Countries," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(2‐3), pages 285-314, March.
    3. Amato, Jeffery D. & Furfine, Craig H., 2004. "Are credit ratings procyclical?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2641-2677, November.
    4. Livingston, Miles & Naranjo, Andy & Zhou, Lei, 2008. "Split bond ratings and rating migration," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1613-1624, August.
    5. Behr, Patrick & Güttler, André, 2008. "The informational content of unsolicited ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 587-599, April.
    6. William N. Evans & Robert M. Schwab, 1995. "Finishing High School and Starting College: Do Catholic Schools Make a Difference?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 941-974.
    7. Arnoud W. A. Boot & Todd T. Milbourn & Anjolein Schmeits, 2006. "Credit Ratings as Coordination Mechanisms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 81-118.
    8. Hill, Paula & Brooks, Robert & Faff, Robert, 2010. "Variations in sovereign credit quality assessments across rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1327-1343, June.
    9. Cheng, Mei & Neamtiu, Monica, 2009. "An empirical analysis of changes in credit rating properties: Timeliness, accuracy and volatility," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1-2), pages 108-130, March.
    10. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    11. Hand, John R M & Holthausen, Robert W & Leftwich, Richard W, 1992. "The Effect of Bond Rating Agency Announcements on Bond and Stock Prices," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 733-752, June.
    12. Frydman, Halina & Schuermann, Til, 2008. "Credit rating dynamics and Markov mixture models," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1062-1075, June.
    13. Ongena, Steven & Smith, David C., 2001. "The duration of bank relationships," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 449-475, September.
    14. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    15. 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.
    16. Norden, Lars & Weber, Martin, 2004. "Informational efficiency of credit default swap and stock markets: The impact of credit rating announcements," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2813-2843, November.
    17. Goh, Jeremy C & Ederington, Louis H, 1993. "Is a Bond Rating Downgrade Bad News, Good News, or No News for Stockholders?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 2001-2008, December.
    18. 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.
    19. Gregor Andrade & Mark Mitchell & Erik Stafford, 2001. "New Evidence and Perspectives on Mergers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 103-120, Spring.
    20. Loffler, Gunter, 2005. "Avoiding the rating bounce: why rating agencies are slow to react to new information," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 365-381, March.
    21. Cantor, Richard, 2004. "An introduction to recent research on credit ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2565-2573, November.
    22. 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.
    23. Heckman, James J. & Singer, Burton, 1984. "Econometric duration analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1-2), pages 63-132.
    24. Altman, Edward I. & Rijken, Herbert A., 2004. "How rating agencies achieve rating stability," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 2679-2714, November.
    25. Lynnette D. Purda, 2007. "Stock Market Reaction To Anticipated Versus Surprise Rating Changes," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 30(2), pages 301-320, June.
    26. Stolper, Anno, 2009. "Regulation of credit rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1266-1273, July.
    27. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
    28. João A. C. Santos & Andrew Winton, 2008. "Bank Loans, Bonds, and Information Monopolies across the Business Cycle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1315-1359, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. May, Anthony D., 2010. "The impact of bond rating changes on corporate bond prices: New evidence from the over-the-counter market," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 2822-2836, November.
    2. Afik, Zvika & Feinstein, Itai & Galil, Koresh, 2014. "The (un)informative value of credit rating announcements in small markets," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 14(C), pages 66-80.
    3. Driss, Hamdi & Massoud, Nadia & Roberts, Gordon S., 2019. "Are credit rating agencies still relevant? Evidence on certification from Moody's credit watches," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 119-141.
    4. Kiesel, Florian, 2016. "The effect of credit and rating events on credit default swap and equity markets," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 81265, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    5. Kiesel, F., 2016. "The effect of credit and rating events on credit default swap and equity markets," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 81247, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    6. Imbierowicz, Björn & Wahrenburg, Mark, 2013. "Wealth transfer effects between stockholders and bondholders," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 23-43.
    7. Yang, Heejin & Ahn, Hee-Joon & Kim, Maria H. & Ryu, Doojin, 2017. "Information asymmetry and investor trading behavior around bond rating change announcements," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 38-51.
    8. Kraft, Pepa & Xie, Yuan & Zhou, Ling, 2020. "The intraday timing of rating changes," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    9. Böninghausen, Benjamin & Zabel, Michael, 2015. "Credit ratings and cross-border bond market spillovers," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 115-136.
    10. Finnerty, John D. & Miller, Cameron D. & Chen, Ren-Raw, 2013. "The impact of credit rating announcements on credit default swap spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2011-2030.
    11. Kiesel, F., 2016. "Do Investors Still Rely on Credit Rating Agencies? Evidence from the Financial Crisis," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 77927, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
    12. G. Marandola & R. Mossucca, 2016. "When did the stock market start to react less to downgrades by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch?," Working Papers wp1066, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    13. Kaveri Krishnan & Sankarshan Basu & Ashok Thampy, 2020. "Has the Global Financial Crisis Changed the Market Response to Credit Ratings? Evidence from an Emerging Market," Journal of Emerging Market Finance, Institute for Financial Management and Research, vol. 19(1), pages 7-32, April.
    14. Böninghausen, Benjamin & Zabel, Michael, 2013. "Credit Ratings and Cross-Border Bond Market Spillovers," Discussion Papers in Economics 21075, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    15. Drago, Danilo & Gallo, Raffaele, 2016. "The impact and the spillover effect of a sovereign rating announcement on the euro area CDS market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 264-286.
    16. Ginevra Marandola & Rossella Mossucca, 2021. "When did the stock market start to react less to downgrades by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch?," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 1-45, February.
    17. Yuriy Zabolotnyuk, 2018. "Wealth Effects of Bond Rating Announcements," Multinational Finance Journal, Multinational Finance Journal, vol. 22(3-4), pages 211-254, September.
    18. Milidonis, Andreas, 2013. "Compensation incentives of credit rating agencies and predictability of changes in bond ratings and financial strength ratings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 3716-3732.
    19. Federica Salvadè, 2018. "Is less information better information? Evidence from the credit rating withdrawal," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 139-157, July.
    20. Fischer, Thomas, 2015. "Market structure and rating strategies in credit rating markets – A dynamic model with matching of heterogeneous bond issuers and rating agencies," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 39-56.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Credit Rating Agencies; Credit Rating; Watchlist; Rating Review; Market Reaction; Event Study;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G29 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Other
    • G33 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Bankruptcy; Liquidation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:fsfmwp:124. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/hfbfide.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/hfbfide.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.