There are two ways the responsible parties can rectify their mistakes. One is to recognize that Greece should never have joined the euro. If it can’t or won’t swallow austerity measures, let it leave and default on its debts.
But the risks of allowing Greece to fail are similar to what the U.S. faced with the 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy. Uncertainty about losses would very likely undermine confidence in European banks and in the governments that would have to bail them out. If Greece’s failure led to a credit freeze, that would threaten banks with insolvency and cause losses for institutions that hold those banks’ debts, including the money-market mutual funds entrusted with $2.7 trillion in U.S. savings….
The alternative path is only slightly less ugly and unfair. It would require the euro area, led by Germany and France, to assume much of Greece’s $495 billion (345 billion euros) in debt indefinitely and be prepared to take on the debts of Portugal and Ireland as well….