Implied Materiality and Material Disclosures of Credit Ratings

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Materiality—a concept at the core of financial, sustainability, and integrated reporting—means the “reportability” of economic, environmental, social, and governance (risk) issues. Using the lens of materiality, the authors of this paper examine principles underlying the methodologies and business models of credit reporting agencies (CRAs), finding that CRAs have potential governance shortcomings that need to be addressed by the boards of the CRAs themselves. The governance remedies recommended here aim to restore credit rating institutions to their historic role in the proper functioning of the global capital markets.

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