Structured Debt Ratings: Evidence on Conflicts of Interest

56 Pages Posted: 8 May 2013

See all articles by Matthias Efing

Matthias Efing

HEC Paris - Finance Department; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)

Harald Hau

University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI); Swiss Finance Institute; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

This paper tests for conflicts of interest in the rating process of European asset- and mortgage-backed securities based on a new aggregation method for a deal's different tranche ratings. Controlling for a large set of determinants of credit risk, we find that credit rating agencies provide better credit ratings for the structured products of those issuers that provide them with more overall bilateral rating business. This effect is particularly pronounced in the run-up to the subprime crisis and for structured products with the worst collateral. Rating favors to the largest clients generate economically significant competitive distortion, foster issuer concentration and contribute to the "too big to fail" status of large issuer banks.

Keywords: conflicts of interest, credit ratings, ratings inflation, structured debt

JEL Classification: G01, G10, G24

Suggested Citation

Efing, Matthias and Hau, Harald, Structured Debt Ratings: Evidence on Conflicts of Interest (May 2013). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP9465. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262167

Matthias Efing (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Finance Department ( email )

France
(++33)695646755 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://matthiasefing.com/

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Harald Hau

University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI) ( email )

40 Boulevard du Pont d'Arve
Geneva 4, 1211
Switzerland

Swiss Finance Institute

Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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