Are Rating Agencies Powerful? An Investigation Into the Impact and Accuracy of Sovereign Ratings

Author/Editor:

John Kiff ; Sylwia Nowak ; Liliana B Schumacher

Publication Date:

January 1, 2012

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: This Working Paper should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF.The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to further debate

Summary:

We find that Credit Rating Agencies (CRA)'s opinions have an impact in the cost of funding of sovereign issuers and consequently ratings are a concern for financial stability. While ratings produced by the major CRAs perform reasonably well when it comes to rank ordering default risk among sovereigns, there is evidence of rating stability failure during the recent global financial crisis. These failures suggest that ratings should incorporate the obligor's resilience to stress scenarios. The empirical evidence also supports: (i) reform initiatives to reduce the impact of CRAs' certification services; (ii) more stringent validation requirements for ratings if they are to be used in capital regulations; and (iii) more transparency with regard to the quantitative parameters used in the rating process.

Series:

Working Paper No. 12/23

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

January 1, 2012

ISBN/ISSN:

9781463931858/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2012023

Format:

Paper

Pages:

35

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