I remember a now-famous line from a Bill Cosby comedy routine where he talks about his Dad’s warning to his two sons: “I brought you into the world….and I can take you out!”.

It seems that by virtue of being of Greek origins, people think we are all experts on the economic situation in Greece. I have certain insights from having family there to whom I speak regularly, as well as having worked on a couple of business projects there. But I’m no expert and in fact, I make few comments on the situation other than to say that there is an entrenched mistrust of government among the people, largely due to generations of corruption, theft, and nepotism, that have made the ordinary citizen very averse to paying taxes; “What’s good for the goose……”

The reason Bil Cosby’s shtick struck me though, is how the country that brought the West into civilization, now threatens to bring it down. A peanut of 11 million people holds the entire Western economy by the cojones.

The problem of course isn’t Greece itself; it’s that Greece is the thin leading edge of a much larger catastrophe, i.e. it’s fall will expose the massive weaknesses in most of the “Southern” European states (Italy, Portugal, Spain) whose economies are much larger, but whose corruption very likely transcends even that of Greece.

What the Germans, French, and Dutch are learning is that when you invite someone with dramatically different economic, social, and ethical values to join you, you shouldn’t be surprised to find them making off with your silverware in the night.