Wednesday, April 28, 2010

AFTER GREECE AND PORTUGAL, today it's Spain's turn: S&P has just downgraded Spain's rating to AA. Reading the press release is to weep (reg req, but it's quoted at length at the link). And, meanwhile, the Zapatero government is doing nothing, not even the few things he announced he would do. ZapaNero fiddling while Madrid burns. Even yesterday, when it was revealed that unemployment had reached a staggering 20.05%, he said in Parliament that the economy had started going upwards. He's the Spanish version of Baghdad Bob. And we know how well it ended for that one.

UPDATE. Zapatero-friendly newspaper El País, in full damage control mode, says (link in Spanish) that the downgrade is not the end the world -- literally -- because S&P makes mistakes: for example, giving AAA to Lehman Brothers, or failing to see trouble in Dubai and Iceland. Fair enough. What the paper doesn't seem to realize is that when S&P has made a mistake it's been when it didn't detect problems, not when it exaggerated them. S&P was overly optimistic, not pessimistic. So if S&P gave Lehman, Dubai or Iceland top rating and they're now in the sorry state they are, just imagine what can happen when they do detect problems...

UPDATE II. A great cartoon at the Madrid-based newspaper ABC, mocking the unions who have yet to demonstrate, or even seriously complain, about the crisis -- but of course, they saw how Zapatero raised the subsidies they're getting from the government by five in the last five years (link in Spanish).

Here's the cartoon:

"The working class is starting to be fed up. And as soon as there's a conservative government, they're gonna hear us!"