In late 2010, a Eurobond dealer broke away from the conformist consensus of his peers and spoke out against the ratings agencies (S&P, Moodys’ and Fitch). This lone voice had made it onto the BBC World Service and clearly stated that the ratings that these agencies had given toxic Greek, Spanish, Italian and Irish sovereign debt were incorrect. He called€™ these government bonds as sub-junk trash. He derided the ratings as being as fetid as the subprime ‘€˜miscalculations’ of 2008 and earlier.

Listeners were not told at the time that these same ratings agencies derive their revenue from the commission that they are paid by the merchant banks and governments that are issuing the bonds that they, the ratings’ agencies, rate.

Many Italians were blissfully unaware of this atrocious conflict of interest. Oh, but who owned the bulk of their media? Well, ‘Silvio’, the clown. That’s who…