| 6.6°C Dublin

'FFF' them all

lThe Ratings Agencies, this time Standard and Poor's, are at it again, having downgraded their financial impressions of a swathe of countries, including France and Austria, having put the rest of us on "negative outlook" -- maggot-acting talk for "doomed" -- and having trashed the reputation of Europe's new anti-anti-euro mechanism, the European Financial Stability Fund.

When will they stop? When will they realise that their opinions are of no tangible benefit to the Western world? Will it take economic ruin as a result of their ever-present criticisms or the drying-up of private funding and investment because they've scared the proverbial you-know-what out of the yet wealthy in the world?

Hopefully not. In fact, it would be infinitely more agreeable if their funding happened to dry up and they happened to go bust. If people stopped paying attention to them and they simply ceased to be, then maybe they could see what happens to hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses around the world every day -- the chaos wrought due to their attacks on global economic integrity.

A scenario such as this must come about for the sake of our collective mentality's stability. It is getting to the point where almost every day there is some new comment from them followed by near hysteria on the markets. I would respectfully ask this paper to stop reporting on these agencies of misery; to spare us all their seemingly limitless pessimism.

Alternatively, I'd ask them to finally make us and every other country they can an 'FFF', or whatever equivalent they may have, simply to end the speculation.

An inspector in a class who makes some quiet comments at the end is a useful thing. They help keep schoolchildren on course. One who incessantly complains and opines directly at the children on everything they do does precisely the opposite, and should be equally as unwelcome.

Killian Foley-Walsh
Kilkenny

Irish Independent