Friday, 15 May 2009

Stiglitz Commission

Earlier this year, a Commission of Experts, chaired by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, on reforms of the international monetary and financial system was established by the President of the UN General Assembly. According to its terms of reference, "the Commission will seek to identify the broad principles underlying needed institutional reforms required to ensure sustained global economic progress and stability which will be of benefit to all countries, developed and less developed. The Commission will suggest a range of credible and feasible proposals for reforming the international monetary and financial system in the best interest of the international community, identify the merits and limitations of alternatives, and will evaluate in particular those that are at the center of current global discussions."

Among a number of interesting recommendations, No. 37 proposes that:

"A major reform of credit rating agencies and their role in the financial system will have to be undertaken. When financial regulations make use of credit ratings, regulators must have a mechanism to evaluate the quality of ratings provided. They must also consider mechanisms for avoiding conflict of interest in the provision of ratings by the agencies, and may consider the scope for encouraging new actors so as to encourage competition in the business of credit rating. The reforms needed in this field and in the systems of information provision will be addressed in the final report of the Commission"

The Commission's recommendations can downloaded here.

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