08:09 – It would appear that Greece is now officially toast. Capital controls are now in effect, Greeks are permitted to withdraw only €60/day from their accounts, and an in/out referendum is scheduled for next Sunday. Assuming that the Greek government is unable or unwilling to pay the €1.6 billion due to the IMF tomorrow, the IMF has already announced that it will consider Greece in default. No grace period.
Meanwhile, the “Greek Disease” is spreading, most recently to Puerto Rico, which has already announced it will be unable to make payments on its outstanding $72 billion debt unless the US federal government bails it out. With US taxpayers already on the hook via the IMF for a considerable portion of Greece’s bad debt to the IMF, that means our tax money will be going to pay the debts of both of these deadbeats.
13:45 – I’d forgotten what a PITA it is to fill bottles with glycerol. The stuff is so viscous that it simply doesn’t want to go into the bottle. Fortunately, viscosity decreases with temperature, so I put the glass dispenser reservoir in a deep tray of very hot water, allow it to sit there for several minutes with occasional swirling, and then fill 60 bottles. Rinse and repeat.
I’m hearing from private correspondents that things in Greece are a lot worse than the media is admitting. Although the capital controls apply only to cash, apparently many/most businesses in Greece have stopped accepting credit cards, presumably because they don’t believe they’ll be paid. I know that I wouldn’t accept any kit orders with a Greek shipping address. I might not be paid at all, and I if payment was honored it might be in worthless drachma, with a non-optional conversion factor applied. Greece is now pretty much a cash-only country. Given the way things are, I wouldn’t accept even a certified check, let alone a wire transfer.
My guess is that Greece will crash out of the euro in the coming weeks, and possibly as early as tomorrow–the so-called Grexident that people have been dreading. At this point, it’s clear that the welfare of the Greek people is the absolute last priority of the eurocrats. So much for EU solidarity. All of them are completely in favor of solidarity, unless it’s going to cost them money.