"Divorce Greece in haste, regret at leisure!" The world press knows little about economics or #Finance - if they did, they would be doing it rather than writing about it. But the amount written, and the bluster of financial jargon filling the news, is astonishing given that limited knowledge. The political implications of the Greek crisis have become the focus of a matter that is fundamentally financial. The reality is a lot less dramatic than the crisis that is proclaimed.
From a purely financial prospective: if Greece defaults, the European Union is exposed in two ways. Firstly, the Germans might lose the money they have lent Greece. While this will irritate the German taxpayer, it will not damage the healthiest budgeted nation in both Europe and the world. Germany will emerge relatively unscathed. The relative value of 240 billion spread between several governments and international financial institutions is not really very large.
The second way is through contagion. Contagion should be regarded with caution, as the circumstances the world faces today make it unlikely. Firstly, the other PIIGS countries have been borrowing with rates at close to the German bund for over 2 years. They have learnt to put cash aside in case the markets panic. Secondly, the ECB has grown from the Euro crisis.
Draghi is arguable the prime market mover and he is well-versed in the business of Monetary Policy even by the standards of the eurosceptics. In addition, it seems to be fashionable to print money until the printing machines run out of ink, so the ECB will have no trouble persuading others to inflate their way out of a crisis, especially since inflation in Europe is at chronically low levels. #Government
There is a fundamental misconception of seeing crisis as a necessarily bad phase in the capitalist cycle when, in fact, it's a way for the market to reverse its imbalances. The truth is that the Italians and Spanish should not be able to borrow at 1% spread with the bund. They're a lot worse at managing money and inefficient at making things. Hitting the market with the idea that euro membership is reversible will make the market more aware of this fact and risk will start to be priced up the further south from Berlin you get.
In the medium period, the effect on Greece will be disastrous. Firstly, the markets won't trust them and they will have trouble financing their way out of crisis. The period of deflation that will follow a reversal to the drachma will create a lot of social frictions in Greece itself: the rich will get richer at the cost of those who are less rich. Despite this, a newly independent country might learn to live within its means.
However, as the weight of Greece is taken off the metaphorical back of Europe, the Euro will appreciate and the solvency of the remaining Euro-nations will look more promising. Greece will, moreover, remain a market to the Eurozone exporters, since exit from the Eurozone certainly does not meant an exit from the EU federation.
Politically, there will be noises, including resignations, but Greece depends on Europe, particularly in foreign policy and persisting animosities with Turkey, a larger and economically resilient adversary. While Tsipras appeals to Russia, and while there may well be developments with the planned Russian pipeline, the Russian priority is to snub the Ukraine rather than trust the Greeks.
Will the world stop spinning? No, in fact, if Greece leaves, it may spin a little faster and with more confidence.