The even greater risk to the European banking system from a Greek failure is that it would bring very much into play Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. These countries, which between them have around US$1.5 trillion in sovereign debt, suffer from similar, albeit less acute, public finance and international competitiveness problems. And they too are stuck in a Euro-zone straightjacket that severely constrains their ability to deal with these problems in a credible manner.
In considering the timing of the Federal Reserve's exit strategy, Bernanke would make the gravest of errors were he to underestimate the potential fallout of a Greek failure on the U.S. and global economies. For not only would a further shock to the European banking system diminish U.S. export prospects by tipping the European economy back into recession and by materially weakening the euro, it would also all too likely be accompanied by a return in spades of risk aversion in global financial markets.
But amidst all of the chaos in the streets a new star has emerged- Rebel Dog:
There's also a fascinating blog dedicated to Rebel Dog, with all sorts of fascinating riot scenes. Even more fascinating is this chart graphic, illustrating the PIIGS crisis. Quite a coincidence, don't you think?
It's a time-honored adage that anyone in Washington who wants a friend had better get a dog. But who knew that man's best friend would also be a boon to Greek rioters?
Amid the turmoil of the Greece financial crisis, photos and videos of street protests have turned up a kind of canine "Where's Waldo" figure: a mutt that may have some German shepherd genes, and clearly has a strong interest in civic disorder.
In ancient times, the people of these countries would see Rebel Dog as a messenger of a god, or even his incarnation. Of course we know better today, with our high fructose corn syrup and our megachurches and our microwave corn dogs and our NASCAR races. Even so, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out, and if it eventually ties into the Sirius Rising meme we've seen so much of recently.