Published on 26/05/2021
Coronavirus and Cash
  • Affected countries say they must either service their debts or fight Coronavirus
  • A country’s credit rating is downgraded if they attempt to renegotiate their debt
  • Aston University financial regulation expert Dr Daniel Cash has proposed a plan out of a ‘credit rating impasse’

An Aston University credit rating and financial regulation expert has proposed a three-stage plan out of what has been described as a ‘credit rating impasse’ for the world’s most vulnerable countries in a new report.

Experts are calling this the ‘credit rating impasse’ and the Credit Rating Research Initiative (CRRI) has developed a proposal to break through that impasse.

Currently, credit rating agencies are bound to inform private investors of anything that could prevent them from receiving the return on their investment. Affected countries are faced with the most tragic of choices: service the debts owed or invest in their health infrastructure to counter the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Dr Daniel Cash, from Aston Law School co-wrote the CRRI report with the assistance of Saveshen Pillay, director of Credit Rating Analytics in South Africa. Dr Cash said:

“Multilateral initiatives designed to encourage debt negotiations between the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries and their creditors are failing. They are failing because credit rating agencies have threatened them with an immediate downgrade if they attempt to renegotiate.”

Dr Cash has proposed that a three-stage plan is enacted, involving a waiver from the private creditors to allow the credit rating agencies to change their sovereign rating model in a temporary and progressive way. That model involves a new and multilateral-aligned ‘overlay’ with an associated scoring system that acts as a ‘buffer’ between the ‘default’ and the rating that the vulnerable countries currently have.

He said: “This temporary buffer will allow for countries to renegotiate their debt arrangements without the automatic prospect of being downgraded, whilst still allowing the credit rating agencies to fulfil their duties to private creditors.”

The CRRI will then propose the widespread usage of an Advisory Service that will work with affected countries to their betterment, providing assistance with the rating process, working closer with rating agencies and private investors, and developing internal structures in a bid to improve their fiscal approach.

You can read the full report here.

Notes to Editors

The Open Society Foundations

This project has been funded by the Open Society Foundations (OSF). The OSF takes no responsibility for the contents of this and any other report generated by the Credit Rating Research Initiative (CRRI) and all opinions, and errors, are that of the authors of the works in question alone. 

Credit Rating Analytics

Credit Rating Analytics is an independent advisory firm that provides technical support to sovereign states with regard to their existing credit ratings, the company was founded by Saveshen Pillay who co-wrote the credit rating solution.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. The University also has TEF Gold status in the Teaching Excellence Framework. 

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email:

For any additional inquiries, please contact Credit Ratings Analytics on + 27 10 003 7858 or Saveshen Pillay can be contacted directly on 0027 74 589 7689 or


Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
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Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
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Claire Fry, Press and Communications Manager
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Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
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