Berating the raters

Last year the rating agencies were slammed in certain quarters for reacting too slowly to market events; this year, there are complaints that the agencies have overcompensated by reacting too fast. So what level of responsiveness will satisfy the bond markets? Cathy Cooper reports


Rating agencies – especially the two largest, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s – have been subjected to an unprecedented barrage of criticism in the past 18 months. In late 2001 and throughout 2002, the rating agencies were criticised for being too slow in downgrading a raft of companies. Much of this criticism was focused on the agencies’ failure to give investors any real warning of Enron and WorldCom’s bankruptcies, in late 2001 and mid-2002 respectively.

In response to this criticism, late last

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact or view our subscription options here:

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact to find out more.

Sorry, our subscription options are not loading right now

Please try again later. Get in touch with our customer services team if this issue persists.

New to View our subscription options

Most read articles loading...

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account here