'Quitaly' spooking the markets

By rejecting the choice of a popularly elected coalition for Finance Minister, Italian President Sergio Mattarella he may well have set in motion a financial crisis from which it will be hard to pull back, and which could imperil the entire European project.

To break the stalemate, the next step will likely be yet another Italian election, which may just usher-in more radical, anti-EU elements that, like Greece, could bring fear and uncertainty to Europe's fourth largest economy, Europe itself, and the rest of the world. 

Such is the mood of the Italian electorate, who have become deeply disenchanted with the mainstream parties from centre-right to centre-left. President Mattarella and like-minded European observers view the Five Star and the League’s euroskepticism with horror, but Italians have made it clear that they want change. 

While much of the noise coming out of Italy over the last 48 hours being decidedly pro-European, this could be a storm in a teacup as markets are sharply down today, but investors need to brace themselves (as they did a few years with 'Grexit') as 'Quitaly' and 'Italexit' take centre stage for a while - familiar territory.

Rick Maggi