Calificar a los calificadores

CAMBRIDGE – En el nuevo orden financiero creado por los reguladores en todo el mundo, la reforma de las agencias de calificación crediticia debe ser un elemento fundamental. Dichas agencias, que desempeñan un papel importante en los mercados modernos de capitales, fallaron completamente en los años anteriores a la crisis financiera. Lo que se necesita es un mecanismo eficaz para calificar a los calificadores.

Ya casi nadie duda que las agencias de calificación han fallado a los inversores. Muchos productos financieros relacionados con hipotecas inmobiliarias a las que Standard & Poor, Moody’s y Fitch dieron la calificación de seguras en los años del auge resultaron ser letalmente peligrosas. Y el problema no se limita a semejantes productos financieros: como los emisores de títulos de deuda eligen y compensan a las empresas que los califican, éstas siguen teniendo demasiados incentivos para corresponderles con buenas calificaciones.

¿Qué se debe hacer? Una propuesta es la de reducir la importancia de los dictámenes de los calificadores. En muchos casos, su importancia se debe en parte a las prescripciones legales que obligan o alientan a los inversores institucionales y a los creadores de otros vehículos de inversión a mantener carteras de activos que hayan recibido calificaciones suficientemente altas de las agencias reconocidas.

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