The Greek Catastrophe Is Finally Here (Unless It Isn’t)

It was a grim weekend in Greece, and it’s likely to be an even grimmer week ahead, both for the Greeks and the European (and possibly world) economy. What wouldnormally be the beginning of the profitable tourist season—a summer idyll in the lovely Greek islands and crowds piling into the Parthenon—has turned into the next chapter of the slow-motion economic train wreck that the world has been witnessing queasily since 2011. Now the wreck is finally here, and the only real question—the one none of us can really answer—is whether it will be modest or huge.

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Election Shows Greece Unlikely to Cause Financial Meltdown, Despite Gloom and Doom

The eyes of the financial world were on Greece once again this weekend, as the Hellenes went to the polls for the second time in six weeks. It’s fair to say that the world hasn’t been this focused on Greece for more than 2,000 years, and the ability of this nation of 11 million people to hold the world in thrall is, on the face of it, rather extraordinary.

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Chaos Over New Elections Deepens Fear of a Greece Chain Reaction

For the third May in a row, events in Greece have taken on global significance. The spark this May, the rising debts and plunging growth of the onetime hub of civilization, is largely the same. But why does the fate of a country with not quite 11 million people and about $300 billion in GDP matter so much? Why does a nation with barely more people than one new Chinese city and an economy hardly larger than the state of Maryland continue to roil international markets? Not since the Trojan War has the fate of the Hellenes been so central to humankind.

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How Bad Is It? Greece, Panic and the Crisis of Confidence

The Greek debt crisis finally spilled over in full force to U.S. markets, aided and abetted by extreme statements emanating from such esteemed and prominent voices as Muhammed El-Erian of the large bond investor Pimco, who warned that Greece could be just the beginning of sovereign debt catastrophes. In the space of minutes, the major U.S. indices plunged more than 10%, fueled by the same programmatic electronic trades that were part of the battering in late 2008 into 2009. And then in the space of 15 minutes, they recovered, without — it’s fair to say — much human decision-making during that interval (and if an individual even tried trading during those 30 minutes, they would have found it difficult or impossible, as web sites such as schwab.com were completely overwhelmed with traffic).

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