Securities Law Prof Blog

Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bai on Credit Rating Agencies

The Performance Disclosures of Credit Rating Agencies: Are They Effective Reputational Sanctions?, by Lynn Bai, University of Cincinnati - College of Law, was recently posted on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

The SEC has recently added new provisions to the credit rating agency regulation. These provisions require credit rating agencies to disclose publicly their rating actions and performance measurements. The new requirements seek to achieve two goals: (1) deter conflicts of interest in the credit rating industry by invoking the reputational sanction power of performance statistics, and (2) help new entrants to the industry build a track record so they can compete with established agencies. This paper reveals empirical evidence that the current disclosure requirements cannot achieve these goals and makes recommendations on how the regulation should be improved in light of consumer choice research and cognitive science findings on effective communication.

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