Summary of Alternatives for Issuer-Paid Credit Rating Agencies

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Alternatives for Issuer-Paid Credit Rating Agencies summary


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Imagine paying someone to rate you and then expecting their evaluation to be entirely objective. As inane as it sounds, that’s the current setup between issuers and the credit rating agencies that assign those all-important letter grades to structured securities. There ought to be a better way, but – as economist Dion Bongaerts points out in his erudite analysis – alternatives may not be as cost-effective or competitive as the existing issuer-paid system. getAbstract recommends this seminal report to investors, issuers and analysts involved in assessing securities risk.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What inherent flaws exist in traditional issuer-paid credit rating agency (CRA) arrangements,
  • What pros and cons proposed alternatives present, and
  • What steps regulators should take toward improving the current credit rating system.

About the Author

Dion Bongaerts is an associate professor of finance at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management.



After the 2007–2009 subprime crisis, the effectiveness and objectivity of credit rating agencies (CRAs) such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch came into question when some highly rated debt securities collapsed, leaving investors with massive losses. According to the International Monetary...

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