A Strict Liability Regime for Rating Agencies

A Strict Liability Regime for Rating Agencies

Alessio Pacces, Alessandro Romano

Series number :

Serial Number: 

Date posted :

March 01 2014

Last revised :

March 19 2014
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  • law & economics • 
  • financial regulation • 
  • rating inflation • 
  • probability of default • 
  • crushing liability • 
  • imperfect foresight • 
  • systemic risk • 
  • structured finance

This paper argues that a mitigated strict liability regime can incentivize Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs) to produce ratings as accurate as the available forecasting technology

allows. A damage cap based on objective factors is introduced in order to avoid crushing liability. Moreover, CRAs are allowed to choose how much to commit to their predictions. CRAs may opt out of liability even entirely, unless their ratings are relevant for regulation. Finally, corrections in the relevant timeframe for the imposition of liability are introduced in order to protect CRAs from systemic risk.


Research Member
Amsterdam Law School and Business School, University of Amsterdam
Real name:
Alessandro Romano
Bocconi University