Rating the Ratings: The Acceptability of International Rating Methodologies

5 Pages Posted: 17 May 2006

Date Written: 2005


We explore the practices of international rating agencies and develop a framework based on the auditor independence model to understand the various rating agency methodologies. Rating agencies methodologies are classified as solicited, unsolicited or co-operative depending upon: (1) whether the rating has been requested; (2) whether the rating agency receives a payment; and (3) what information source the agency uses to form its opinion. These different methodologies will affect the level of independence the agency has in forming an unbiased and objective opinion, and ultimately this will affect the acceptability of the rating. The unsolicited and co-operative rating methods allow for independence to be maintained because independence is largely driven by agency remuneration. Ultimately, the most acceptable rating methodology is the co-operative rating method because of the greater reliability of the information source that is used in forming the rating opinion.

Keywords: Rating agencies, co-operative rating

JEL Classification: E44

Suggested Citation

Finch, Nigel, Rating the Ratings: The Acceptability of International Rating Methodologies (2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=902782 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.902782

Nigel Finch (Contact Author)

Saki Partners ( email )


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