Malcolm Graham
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The real losers from a Greek exit won’t be in Greece

Greece will be fine, but the EU, the IMF, Angela Merkel will never live this down

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
The losers, from the left: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi...

Another weekend, another Greek knife’s edge. As the markets close ahead of the weekend, they will be prepared for another couple of days of drama in the epic saga of the Greek debt crisis, looking to see whether the country will vote for or against the latest bailout package in a referendum scheduled for Sunday, and whether that in turn is the trigger its final exit from the euro EURUSD, +0.1628% .

We will find out by Monday morning. One thing should be clear, however. Sooner or later, Greece is going to get out of the single currency.

And there is a paradox in that which most commentators have so far missed. When the moment comes, the Greeks themselves will be just fine. But the collateral damage will be huge.

Most countries that tumble out of dysfunctional currency unions are back on their feet very quickly.

Its victims? It will be a black day for the International Monetary Fund, for the European Union, for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and for the gold bugs. Their standing may never recover from the blow that a “Grexit” will deliver.

The situation in Greece has descended so deep into chaos that it is anyone’s guess what will happen next. It might still be in the euro next week. It might have re-launched the drachma, or a parallel euro. Heck, who knows, perhaps it will have adopted the dollar or the ruble as its currency? Everyone in Athens, Brussels and Berlin seems to be flying blind at this point, and if there is a plan somewhere no one can find it right now. Anything might happen.

Even so, if there is a Grexit, and that seems the most likely option with the banks already closed, and the country already in default, then in fact the country will recover fairly quickly. The Gr-covery will not be long in coming (after which, there should be a ban on smart-alec words starting with “Gr” — they are getting Gr-iresome).