THE ROLE OF THE RATING AGENCIES IN THE CURRENT FINANCIAL CRISISPetar Filipov
, 2012, undergraduate thesis
Abstract: The Subprime crisis that occurred in 2007-2008, was the most disturbing and severe crisis since The Great Depression. The global stock market indexes and housing prices noted a sharp drop. Big corporations, conglomerates, defaulted, were acquired and bailed out, since they could not meet their financing obligations. Substantial number of people lost their jobs worldwide and a lot of sectors in the economy were struggling.
Within this Bachelor seminar paper, it is presented how the credit rating agencies influenced the credit crunch. The main issue discussed in this seminar work is the role of the rating agencies in one of the greatest crushes in history. They (the agencies), actually, participated in creating the structured financial products, which during the housing bubble were increasingly trading. These structured financial products were very complex and highly risky and maybe, the most crucial cause of the crisis.
First, in the seminar paper it is described how the agencies work and their origins. As in the last century, Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s, emerged to great power in the financial system with assigning ratings to issuers of debt. This position in the financial world that the agencies held, has brought many academicians to doubting the possible moral hazard problems within the credit ratings business. Furthermore, it is explained how the financial turmoil emerged and the trends that preceded the credit crunch. Questions regarding the role of the agencies in the securitization process are discussed. For instance, were the rating agencies biased; were the ratings on the structured financial products inflated and if so, what were the incentives for it?
Several theories and empirical evidence has been put forward concerning the importance of the ratings in the securitization process. It is concluded in this paper, that the ratings assigned to the financial derivatives were inflated and the agencies noted increased returns from it, which presents the incentives of the agencies during the housing bubble. These empirical findings also indicate of moral hazard problem within the ratings system.
Keywords: Credit rating agencies, Financial crisis, Structured financial products, Securitization, Inflated ratings, Moral hazard
Published: 29.11.2012; Views: 991; Downloads: 69
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