As agências de rating podem funcionar melhor?

Lawrence White acha que sim. Veja o trecho da entrevista:

Q. Are there drawbacks to more regulation?

Yes there are. In its efforts to get the NRSROs to “pull up their socks,” the SEC may well reduce or eliminate flexibility in the industry and squelch creativity and innovation with respect to alternative business models and better ways of assessing the default probabilities of bonds. Further, there is always the risk that the SEC “gets it wrong”say, mandating the wrong kind of Chinese wallsbut in that regulatory sphere, there are no alternatives.

Q. Is there a better way?

A. Yes, and it’s one which would rely less on regulation and more on markets.

Let’s start with the basic goal of financial regulation that led to the required reliance on rating agencies and then led to the SEC’s creation of the NRSRO category and its subsequent protective moat around the category’s incumbents. That goal was to insure the safety of the bond portfolios in banks, insurance companies, pension funds, money market mutual funds, broker-dealers, etc. This was a worthy goal. But in deferring to the NRSROs’ judgments as to safety (such as the determination of “investment grade”), the regulators were in essence delegating their safety judgments to this select group of rating agencies, who turn out not to have done their jobs all that well.

The key, then, is for the financial regulators to pull back that delegation. The goal should still be to have safe bond portfolios in regulated financial institutions. But the burden should be on each institution to defend its choices of bonds to its regulator. This defense could reside in original research. Or it could involve reliance on a trusted advisor, which could be a rating agency or some other advisory service. Regardless of the form of defense, the regulator should insist that the financial institution has a reasoned, sound basis for its choices.

Regulated financial institutions would thus be free to take advice from sources that they consider to be most reliablebased on the track record of the advisor, the business model of the advisor (including the possibilities of conflicts of interest), and anything else that the institution considered relevant. Again, the institution would have to justify its choice of advisor to its regulator. But, subject to that constraint, the bond-advisory information market would be opened to new ideas and new entry in a way that it has not been since the 1930s.

With this burden-on-the-institution regulatory model adopted by financial regulators, the SEC could eliminate the NRSRO designation.

Lawrence White tem sempre opiniões interessantes. Uma boa explicação sobre as causas da crise atual é de sua autoria e se encontra no Ordem Livre.

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