Mike Wickens, Vito Polito, 30 October 2013

A good credit rating has become a key fiscal objective, even if it requires austerity when unemployment is high. Recent experience has raised doubts about the sovereign ratings provided by the credit-rating agencies. This column suggests a new way to measure credit ratings based on a country’s ability to meet its liabilities using fiscal policy. This measure would have identified and signalled to market participants signs of the impending European sovereign-debt crisis well before 2010, when the rating agencies first reacted to the crisis.

Victor Ginsburgh, 16 January 2012

Economists have shown that wine tasters can’t tell Bordeaux from budget plonk, movie critics are prone to giving biased reviews, and Olympic judges are often judging what’s best for them to say rather than what’s in front of them. This column asks why we should expect credit-rating agencies, with their own unique set of ignorance and incentives, to be any different.

Donato Masciandaro, 16 September 2011

Credit-rating agencies have come in for strong criticism for their role in the global crisis. This column asks whether by communicating their opinions rating agencies can make a crisis worse and outlines some of the policy implications if they do.

Events

CEPR Policy Research