The parasites and rumour-mongers who run the debt ratings agencies, having done their work getting the Greek government to screw their population, have moved on to Italy. Let's be honest, the ratings agencies are just the propaganda arm - fully funded - of the American financial "services" industry. They issue reports and recommendations entirely based upon the needs of their masters. When that need was giving AAA ratings to the bags of doodoo that the investment banks quaintly named "collateralized debt obligations", they were there to do so. When the CDOs went tits up, taking Lehman Brothers and the insurer of choice, AIG, as well as numerous pension plans with it, the ratings agencies raised their hands and said "hey, it was just our opinion, you didn't have to listen." Given the transparent service that they provide to the big banks in fucking over the rest of the population, one wonders why anyone would listen to a damn word that they say. Actually, it's not that surprising; the rating's agencies help to organize the financial sector's response - read: assault - on those sectors of the global economy, corporate or national, that aren't doing the bidding of almighty banks.
Italy, led by a right wing dirtbag with a taste for underage prostitutes, bribery and political alliances with neo-fascists, has dutifully jumped to the tune of the rating agencies in less time than it takes to order a pizza. The Italian parliament today passed an austerity package that will immediately cut $67 billion and will lead to privatization of state-controlled enterprises, no doubt at fire sale prices that will be a big windfall for profiteers.
Well, here's a newsflash - this panic selling and austerity signal will cause consumers to retrench, will lead to a contraction of the economy and, probably, higher debt as tex revenues decline. That adds to the fact that, under Berlusconi, Italy has stagnated for a decade or more, with youth unemployment stuck at around 25% and a general perception of decline, even as Il Duce Nuevo frolics at his infamous "bunga bunga" sex parties and changes the laws to prevent himself from being found guilty on any of the long list of crimes for which he has been charged. Even the conservative Economist Magazine wants to see the back of Berlusconi, describing him as "the man who screwed an entire country." It seems that Italy isn't so much a country but a private party for its richest citizen. And now that the bill has come in for all the liquor and party favours, it's the serving staff who are being sent the bill. One can only hope that the Italians, justly famous for their penchant to strike and protest, find some will to do so now. Otherwise, they'll have to watch as their economy sinks while Berlusconi screws the daughters of their poorest citizens and raises a toast with the American ratings agencies.
Italian senate approves austerity package - Europe - Al Jazeera English