Revolving Rating Analysts and Ratings of MBS and ABS: Evidence from LinkedIn
Management Science, Forthcoming
62 Pages Posted: 28 May 2014 Last revised: 3 Aug 2017
Date Written: January 1, 2017
This study examines whether credit rating analysts who transition from major rating agencies to issuers are associated with any rating inflation in the issuers’ mortgage-backed securities (MBS) or asset-backed securities (ABS). Using professional profiles posted on LinkedIn to identify revolving rating analysts with structured finance rating experience, we find that when issuers employ more of such analysts the ratings of their new MBS and ABS issuances appear more inflated, compared to otherwise similarly rated securities. Additional analyses show that the impact of these revolving rating analysts is more pronounced in complex deals and when the analysts are more senior, indicating that rating expertise in structured finance may play a role in MBS and ABS rating inflation. Finally, we find that at least for AAA-rated MBS and ABS, investors fail to see through the rating inflation associated with revolving rating analysts.
Keywords: Credit Analysts, Rating Analysts, Credit Ratings, Mortgage-Backed Securities, Asset-Backed Securities, MBS, ABS, Financial Crisis, LinkedIn, Revolving Door, Moody's, S&P, Fitch
JEL Classification: G1, G21, G24, G28, L1
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