Online Debate: Credit Ratings and the COVID-19 crisis
Participation free, registration mandatory
Deadline for registrations: 4 June 2020, 9:30 AMRegister here
In crisis times opinions expressed by Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs), and more specifically their downgrades, tend to provoke shockwaves across the financial system. Downgrades may indeed have a severe impact on sovereigns, banks or on market-based finance players, not least because they may trigger automatic responses both by public actors (e.g. exclusion from collateral frameworks) and by private actors (e.g. divestments or fire sales, exclusions from indexes or ETFs). As is well-known, CRAs also tend to act late and to over-correct, thereby adding to pro-cyclicality.
It can therefore be feared that the soundness of financial actors during the COVID-19 crisis will partly hinge on CRA opinions too. However, the influence of CRAs’ opinions on public actors’ credit worthiness assessment may be slowly vanishing, as the recent decision of the European Central Bank to accept junk bonds among eligible collaterals seems to imply. Against this background this online seminar will take stock of the current regulation and supervision of Credit Rating Agencies in the European Union and will assess the impact of recent or future downgrades on issuers and markets. Lastly, it will explore lessons learned from the supervision of CRAs during the past euro crisis for the current COVID-19 crisis.
Elena Carletti (Bocconi University and Florence School of Banking and Finance, European University Institute) Elena Carletti is Professor of Finance at Bocconi University. She is also at the Florence School of Banking and Finance at the European University Institute, is a member of Board of Directors of Unicredit SpA and a member of the Advisory Scientific Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). Furthermore, she is research professor at the Bundesbank, a member of the Expert Panel on banking supervision for the European Parliament, a member of the Scientific Committee “Paolo Baffi Lecture” at the Bank of Italy, a member of Bruegel Scientific Committee, Research Fellow at CEPR, Fellow of the Finance Theory Group, CESifo, IGIER, and Wharton Financial Institutions Center. She is the author of numerous articles on Financial Intermediation, Financial Crises and Regulation, Competition Policy, Corporate Governance and Sovereign Debt.