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Ratings gone quiet or the lull before the calm

Since LIBOR broke into media frenzy territory the noise around ratings has gone pretty quiet. Although we have seen the appointment of Kevin Milne one of the City’s best assets by RVS the Singaporean headquartered Rate Validation Services benchmarking company and we have had Martin Wheatley the UKs regulatory great hope, if not quite yet saviour, start to develop plans for producing an industry ratings process that can be trusted. Does this mean there is progress or is it the usual City plod towards introducing solutions?

I prefer to think there are positive moves underway to put the scandal of LIBOR away and soon introduce a transparent and robust ratings benchmark that can be relied on by society to be entirely honest and be perfectly formed for audit and regulatory endorsement.

LIBOR was tainted in many ways but not least was the involvement of organisations that all had a vested interest in how the rating was created and managed. Arguably all ratings that have a commercial interest will be questioned as to their independence and as result, trustworthiness. The new LIBOR it is hoped will be created and audited from a completely independent source. It’s hardly independent if current data vendors are a part of the creators, or banks, or any organisation that has a conflict of interest somewhere within their business.

The new LIBOR must be seen and proved to be entirely free from any organisation or commercial business which is already in or associated with rate creation or distribution of any kind. This means that when new LIBOR is created and put into operation it must be from a new entity or collaboration of firms with the required knowledge and capability.


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Gary Wright

Gary Wright


BISS Research

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19 Sep 2007



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