Credit Ratings Failures and Policy Options

31 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010

See all articles by Marco Pagano

Marco Pagano

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics and Statistics; Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF); Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Paolo F. Volpin

City University London - Faculty of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

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Abstract

This paper examines the role of credit rating agencies in the subprime crisis that triggered the 2007–2008 financial turmoil. We focus on two aspects of ratings that contributed to the boom and bust of the market for structured debt: rating inflation and coarse information disclosure. The paper discusses how regulation can be designed to mitigate these problems in the future. Our preferred policy is to require rating agencies to be paid by investors rather than by issuers and to grant open and free access to data about the loans or securities underlying structured debt products. A more modest (but less effective) approach would be to retain the ‘issuer pays’ model but require issuers to pay an upfront fee irrespective of the rating, ban ‘credit shopping’, and prescribe a more complete format for the information that rating agencies must disseminate.

Suggested Citation

Pagano, Marco and Volpin, Paolo F., Credit Ratings Failures and Policy Options. Economic Policy, Vol. 25, Issue 62, pp. 401-431, April 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1583159 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0327.2010.00245.x

Marco Pagano (Contact Author)

University of Naples Federico II - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Via Cintia - Monte S. Angelo
Napoli, 80126
Italy
+39 081 675306 (Phone)
+39 081 7663540 (Fax)

Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF) ( email )

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62
Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http:/www.ecgi.org

Paolo F. Volpin

City University London - Faculty of Finance ( email )

London, EC2Y 8HB
Great Britain

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http:/www.ecgi.org

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