Journal of Business Ethics 111 (4):477-490 (2012)

Steven Scalet
University of Baltimore
During the short span of a few months in 2008, 14 trillion dollars of highly rated bonds fell into junk status, surprising the global financial system and accelerating an economic decline. The result was the worst fracture of the US financial system since the Great Depression. Credit rating agencies (CRAs) in particular have come under intense scrutiny as a result of this latest disaster, both domestically and internationally, including many congressional inquiries and government investigations. Most of the public and scholarly discussions about CRAs focus on reforming the financial system so that the crisis of the magnitude of the 2008 disaster will not happen again. An important overtone of industry criticisms includes a sense of ethical impropriety on the part of CRAs and ethical uncertainty about the institutional mechanisms that are currently in place. Rarely, however, are the ethics of the industry the explicit subject of analysis. In this article, we discuss the lessons from the policy debates and recent legislation to develop an account of the ethics of the CRA industry.
Keywords Credit rating agencies (CRAs)  Ethics  Finance  Credit crisis  SEC  Securities  Rating bonds  Finance ethics  Business ethics  Corporate responsibility
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1212-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,037
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Securitization: A Financing Vehicle for All Seasons?Bonnie Buchanan - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 138 (3):559-577.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Relative Uncertainty in Term Loan Projection Models: What Lenders Could Tell Risk Managers.Lisa Warenski - 2012 - Journal of Experimental and Artificial Intelligence 24 (4):501-511.
Unmet Duties in Managing Financial Safety Nets.Edward J. Kane - 2011 - Business Ethics Quarterly 21 (1):1-22.
A Proposal for a New System of Credit Allocation in Science.David B. Resnik - 1997 - Science and Engineering Ethics 3 (3):237-243.
Ideology, Social Ethos, and the Financial Crisis.John E. Roemer - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (3):273-303.
Postwar Economic Stabilization: A Stylized Half‐Truth.Werner Troesken - 1998 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 12 (1-2):77-93.


Added to PP index

Total views
163 ( #65,883 of 2,454,418 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,269 of 2,454,418 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes