Greece and the Euro: Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover
For the Greeks, the euro love affair is over, but breaking up is hard to do. Defaulting on their debts will force them out of the euro zone and back to issuing drachmas, which could get brutally devalued by speculators as soon as they are traded on foreign exchange markets.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to an ugly divorce. The treaties binding the 17 member nations are just a set of rules, entered into by mutual agreement, and rules can be bent, broken or stretched, especially in crises. The European Central Bank (ECB) has already broken a litany of rules to save the banks, and so has the Federal Reserve, which found multiple ways to do what it initially said it couldn't do to save Wall Street in 2008. Rules that can be bent for banks can be bent for the people - not just the Greeks, but the Irish, Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese and others lined up behind them.