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Italian Prosecutors Raid Rating Agencies

Aug. 4, 2011 (EIRNS)—As the stock markets of the trans-Atlantic region were crashing today, prosecutors in Milan, Italy's financial hub, released the news that they had conducted raids yesterday, on the offices of both Moody's and Standard & Poor's, seizing many documents. The move occurred the same day as the latest defiance of the Italian government against the British-run financial powers, who have been insisting, in the name of the "markets," that Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and/or his Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti must be removed from government.

The head prosecutor, Carlo Maria Capistro, said that the probe had been launched several months ago due to complaints from "consumer groups" about "anomalous" fluctuations in Italian share prices. The measure is aimed at "verifying whether these agencies respect regulations as they carry out their work," Capistro said. He added that recent reports and rating decisions by the two agencies amount to a "failure of judgment" regarding Italy's government finances.

The Moody's probe began when they filed a report about the risk of contagion for Italian banks from the Greek crisis, while the S&P probe was filed in May when it threatened to downgrade Italy's credit rating because of its huge public debt. According to Reuters, "The prosecutors are also investigating whether any crimes were committed during a sell-off of Italian assets on July 8 and July 11 as fears spread that the eurozone's third-largest economy is being sucked into the widening debt crisis."

The Italian investigation goes after a key conspirator with the London-centered financial oligarchy; one of the consumer group complaints charges that the sharp drop in the market may have been the result of a "precise scheme by hedge funds and other unidentified players that could be linked to the negative comments about Italian public finances by the rating agencies." Elio Lannutti, head of the Adusbef consumer group, told Sky TV that the agencies "have lost all credibility."

Italians have a record of striking back at those who commit financial warfare. An action by the LaRouche movement in Italy back in the late 1990s, which spotlighted George Soros's role in the 1992 devaluation of the Italian currency, took the country by storm. In these tumultuous times, it might again be wise for Soros to avoid Italy.