内容：主题为Securities Ratings and Information Provision
摘要：We examine the introduction in 1909 of letter-graded ratings for corporate securities. These inaugural securities ratings (ISRs) had no regulatory implications and were predictable using publicly available information. Despite this, we find that lower than market-implied ISRs caused a sudden rise in secondary market bond yields. Instrumenting for receiving any rating at all using the publisher’s propensity to provide ratings for even small securities in large entities, we find that access to ISRs substantially reduces bid-ask spreads, consistent with reduced information asymmetries, improved liquidity, and functioning of these markets. These results indicate that a simple coarse set of ratings can improve information transmission, even in settings with the highest monetary stakes and well-incentivized participants, and highlights the potential innate value of ratings in financial markets.