Capital Account -- 12/19/11

Thousands of government workers reportedly are striking against austerity in Italy today…meanwhile, the IMF announces it will release the newest installment of 3.8 billion dollars of portugal's bailout loan based on portugal's progress on budget austerity. But could debt actually be the best weapon on hand for the eurozone nations weighed down b it to fight back with? And the president of the ECB, Mario Draghi, took on the ratings agencies in a speech today advocating more scrutiny. He assigned them a "vast power." But do they really have the power to affect markets and the economy? We'll take a look at how the US has performed since its credit downgrade, and the laundry list of other's that have defied the ratings agencies' calls with blogger and investment advisor for Sitka Pacific Capital, Mike "Mish" Shedlock. And with the Libya mission over NATO is turning to a new front, providing a new revenue stream to feed the coffers of US military contractors. Meanwhile, a German corporation brings on the former US and NATO commander of the Afghan war to try and expand efforts to fill its coffers with US government contracts. We'll discuss the art of war profiteering