1 march 2012, che confusione

This has been brewing on my computer for some days now, but the economist beat me to it, and, I must admit, with a better headline. As they note, a quarter of voters didn't in this week's italian elction, and of those that did almost third % voted for silvio berlusconi, the most clownish premier since baron bomburst; and a further quarter voted for a real clown. Meanwhile, marvellous mr monti (10 november 2011) got just 10%. And so, just when we were beginning to think it was safe to get back in the water, up pops the unfortunately irrepressible jack in the box that is berlusconi to throw everyone right back under a bus. You can't blame him for trying though, so of course it's the italian electorate that will have to shoulder the blame for this unhappy drop off the cliff, although there's an important point about the ability of both winners (and indeed others around europe) to exploit anti-euro/pean sentiment in troubled times, and the perecption of democratic deficit. Clearly the soothing balm of monti medicine that restored credibility and sustainability was less attractive than the cod letter sent by the maestro offering everyone their money back if only they'd vote for him. So who is going to form the stable and sensible government that italy, and the euro, desperately need ? No wonder the markets dived, and will no doubt remain in roller coaster mode until there is a government, or the inevitable next election, be it 2 months or 2 years away. What a shame.