In the wake of the public outcry over Detroit’s art being treated as an asset of the City, the Italian government takes the opposite tack by suing a bond rating agency for its downgrades of Italian debt which increased the country’s financial woes. Italy wants its cultural heritage recognized on the country’s balance sheet!
Standard & Poor’s revealed on Tuesday it had been notified by Corte dei Conti that credit rating agencies may have acted illegally and opened themselves up to damages of €234bn, in part by failing to consider Italy’s rich cultural history when downgrading the country.
The potentially gigantic claim, which S&P dismissed as “frivolous and without merit”, relates to the string of downgrades the rating agency issued on Italian debt when the eurozone crisis intensified in 2011.
Notifying S&P that it was considering legal action, the Corte dei Conti wrote: “S&P never in its ratings pointed out Italy’s history, art or landscape which, as universally recognised, are the basis of its economic strength.”