I know this may come as a surprise, but it would seem that years of Socialist rule (no, really!) in Greece has resulted in a government so completely in debt that there's now literally zero chance that any of that country's massive debt will ever be repaid.
I saw Zero Hedge (my newest favorite blog) mention this morning that Greek bonds were approaching a pricing point at which their bonds become essentially worthless as compared to the rest of Europe, and notice that my good friend Richard North over at EUReferendum has confirmed that this point has been reached. (ZH is down right now, no doubt innundated by scores of angry Greek politicians.)
I know I don't understand all of the discussions that have gone into the entire Greek saga, but the basic underlying principals are clear as day:—Governments that promise endless services to their citizens (this is Socialism, by the way) cause a dramatic shift in the public mind towards redistributionist policies and away from self-reliance. This attitude breeds ever more spending, as the Government continues to increase the services "offered" in exchange for popular votes. As this spending increases, the Government finds that it is increasingly difficult to pay with taxes, so it begins borrowing heavily ("issuing bonds") to pay for today's socialist policies with tomorrow's money.
And when this spending spirals completely out of control, it all falls apart.
Please notice that California has begun to enter a phase in this exact process where the same is about to happen—and that California, like Greece, has so far shown a complete refusal to scale back the "services" it offers its citizens, who like their Greek counterparts, are accustomed to the largesse.
Also notice that our Federal Government, via the horrendously wrongheaded new healthcare legislation, is beginning to develop the same entitled sense in the rest of our nation.
If we continue down this path, don't be surprised to see our country go the exact same way Greece has.
The bottom of the market, like gravity, is the type of law that will always hold true.
Update: ZeroHedge is back up—And Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker has concurred with his insatiable fork. (I'm still getting my drum set warmed up, of course.)