The Use of Credit Ratings in Financial Markets

75 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018 Last revised: 5 Nov 2020

See all articles by Ramin Baghai

Ramin Baghai

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Swedish House of Finance

Bo Becker

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); ECGI

Stefan Pitschner

Uppsala University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 30, 2020

Abstract

Fixed income markets rely on delegated asset management, where fund managers’ portfolio decisions are directed and restricted by investment mandates. We use textual analysis to classify U.S. fixed income funds’ mandate contents. Credit ratings can be used in mandates to define investable assets. Despite the shortcomings of ratings revealed in the global financial crisis, their use in mandates has steadily increased over the past two decades. By 2018, ratings are used by
94% of fixed income mutual funds. Credit ratings are an integral feature of contracting in financial markets and our results point to a lack of practically useful alternatives.

Keywords: Credit ratings, investment mandates, delegated asset management, financial crisis

JEL Classification: G24, G23, G01

Suggested Citation

Baghai, Ramin and Becker, Bo and Pitschner, Stefan, The Use of Credit Ratings in Financial Markets (October 30, 2020). Swedish House of Finance Research Paper No. 18-13, European Corporate Governance Institute - Finance Working Paper No. 612/2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3201006 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3201006

Ramin Baghai

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Bo Becker (Contact Author)

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
Dept. of Finance
111 60 Stockholm, 11160
Sweden

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

ECGI ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Stefan Pitschner

Uppsala University ( email )

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

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