Security Design with Ratings
29 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017
Date Written: July 2016
We investigate the effect of ratings on the security design problem of a privately informed issuer. We find that the presence of ratings has important implications for the form of security designed (e.g., equity, debt, etc.), the level of seller retention, and price informativeness. The model rationalizes the issuance of securities that are informationally insensitive (standard debt) and informationally sensitive (levered-equity), depending on the informativeness of ratings. Furthermore, we show that the introduction of sufficiently informative ratings efficiently increases market liquidity by decreasing the reliance on inefficient retention to convey high quality. Perhaps counterintuitively, the presence of informative ratings actually decreases the amount of information transmitted to investors and prices become less informative.
Keywords: Security Design, Liquidity, Private Information, Credit Ratings, Public Disclosure
JEL Classification: G23, G32, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation