10 Years ago

On June 20th 2010 I registered the domain ‘wikirating.org’ to build an open and transparent alternative solution to the “Big Three”, the dominant credit rating agencies Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch.

This decision was preceded on the one hand by several hasty country downgrades of the rating agencies during the financial crisis (2007-2010), which were intensively criticized, discussed and challenged around the globe. On the other hand I realized that there was no “independent” competitor for the credit rating agencies – despite their enormous impact on the global economy.

World map showing GDP real growth rates for 2009. CIA world factbook estimates as of April 2010.
World map showing GDP real growth rates for 2009. CIA world factbook estimates as of April 2010. Original source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GDP_Real_Growth_in_2009.svg

The selected name ‘Wikirating’ was not a coincidence, I am a big fan of Wikipedia, which inspired me to uses the same principles for a transparent and collaborative “Wiki Credit Rating Organization”.

I was really astonished that I did not found any publicly available substantial information about credit rating agencies, about their models and about any credit rating topic in general.

I had to start from scratch.

From April 2010 until October 2011 – when Wikirating officially went live – I build up the platform (based on MediaWiki framework, which Wikipedia also uses) and developed two credit rating models, the ‘Sovereign Wikirating Index, SWI’ (for countries) and the ‘Poll Method’ (for countries and corporates).

First draft of Wikirating site (July 2010)
First draft of Wikirating site (July 2010) – with the first logo design

Erwan Salembier, who joined later in 2010 (and stayed until February 2012), helped me to take care about the community management.

The exciting and thrilled moments started in October 2011, when the Wikirating platform went online:

  • First non-profit and collaborative credit rating organization in the world
  • Worldwide press coverage
  • Got more attention than Moody’s
  • Many valuable supporters from all over the world

… to be continued! We will officially celebrate our 10th anniversary of Wikirating on October 3rd, 2021 – 10 years after the platform officially went online.

Stay tuned!

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