Conflicts of Interest, Low-Quality Ratings, and Meaningful Reform of Credit and Corporate Governance Ratings

October 2009 – A report by Professors Charles W. Calomiris and Joseph R. Mason
Policymakers and academic critics have identified “conflicts of interest” in the rating industry that have led to poor ratings quality, harming investors who purchase over- or mis-rated investments. In this report the authors address the question of whether conflicts of interest can arise in the ratings industry without the monopoly benefit conferred by regulatory licenses like those given credit rating agencies that operate as Nationally Recognized Statistical Ratings Organizations (NRSRO). The authors show that Continue reading

Don’t Bag Indonesia’s Poor

October 2009 – Green Papers: Issue I
Wangan Maathai — the world’s first female African Nobel Prize winner and originator of the forest conservation Green Belt movement in Kenya — was recently asked on CNN what was the best way to stop deforestation. Her answer? ”Address poverty.” Forestry experts know it is the hunger of the poor for land for food, not commercial forestry, which drives deforestation. Frances Seymour, noted US environmentalist and international forest researcher told the United Nations recently that more than a decade research has found “most drivers of forest loss originate outside the forestry sector.”  Continue reading