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Rethinking Bretton Woods | Tue, Oct 1, 2013

Credit Rating Reform Overlooks Developing World

Inter Press Service New Agency (IPS) quotes Aldo Caliari, Center of Concern's director of Rethinking Bretton Woods Project in its September 15, 2013 article, "Credit Rating Reform Overlooks Developing World." The article notes that even in countries not issuing debt, credit ratings serve as "benchmarks for bonds issued by firms in  the country." Caliari says, "This bias incentivises developing countries to adhere strictly to rules dictated by CRAs." According to article author, Samuel Oakford, "Emerging markets began to be rated by CRAs in the 1980s and 90s, a period that overlapped with the rise of market-based antidotes to the economic ills of the developing world. The mutually influential mix was not always fortuitous for borrowers."  Caliari says, "The standards imposed by CRAs can favour austerity and punish countries that increase social spending, without regard to growth. That ratings are meant to predict a very narrow occurrence, sovereign defaults, is part of the problem. Many incorrectly assume that ratings reflect the overall health of an economy."