The Role of Rating Agencies in Financial Crises: Event Studies from the Asian Flu
Based on case studies from countries that have been hit hardest by the Asian financial crisis of 1997, the present paper shows that the accusation that sovereign ratings led to a severe acceleration of the crisis is unconvincing and that the empirical method often used to support accusations against rating agencies is inappropriate for the problem under analysis. Rather, it must be emphasised that ratings were downgraded in most countries very shortly before the end of the crisis. In some countries, the ratings were even further downgraded after the end of the crisis as countries started to recover. This is not in line with the thesis that the crisis was accelerated by rating agencies.