Private Ratings, Public Regulations: Credit Rating Agencies by Andreas Kruck

By Andreas Kruck

Credit standing businesses play a robust and contentious function within the governance of world monetary markets. Introducing an unique framework for delegating political authority to personal actors, this ebook explains universal traits within the regulatory use of non-public scores for public reasons and analyzes regulatory adjustments after the monetary Crisis.

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Today, Moody’s and S&P’s still have a combined global market share of 80 percent (in terms of ratings issued). Together with Fitch Ratings, the number three in the credit rating sector, they have over 95 percent (The Economist 2007b; Gras 2003: 4; Hillenbrand 2001: 152). As Fitch’s market share is considerably smaller than those of Moody’s and S&P’s, one might even be tempted to say that the rating industry is characterized by a duopolistic rather than an oligopolistic structure (The Economist 2001: 72; 2005).

Initially, the use of credit ratings for regulatory purposes was restricted to the supervision of banks. However, in particular since the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the use of ratings in regulations has expanded into other areas of financial regulation and supervision. g. the OCC, the SEC, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) and the Department of Labor) for a broad range of specific regulatory purposes. Thus, the public regulatory and supervisory bodies of nearly all US financial market actors use – in one way or another – credit risk assessments from credit rating agencies for regulatory purposes (Gras 2003: 14).

2004: 6). com). In the case of sovereign ratings, the criteria are less transparent and less straightforward to determine. g. g. ) Vote of the CRA’s rating committee (comprised of senior analysts): on the credit rating → notification of the committee’s decision and major considerations supporting the decision to the issuer → opportunity for the issuer to comment on the rating and to present further (‘new and meaningful’) information → review of the additional information and second vote by the rating committee → publication of the rating and dissemination to the media (in the case of confidential ratings, release of the rating to the issuer)* Rating review: continued surveillance of the rating; if need be, reconsideration and revision of the rating (up-/downgrading) Note: * In the case of unsolicited ratings, steps 2 and 4 are performed without the involvement of the issuer.

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