Echoes of Greece's Debt Crisis

Greece's economy is small, but its debt crisis is threatening the euro. Listen for the echoes in the U.S.

Harry Campbell for TIME

In 1973, 100 Greek Drachmas would get you $3.33. By May 2000, that was down to 27ยข. That's the way the currency crumbles in a smallish, less than rich nation beset by government budget deficits, inflation and a spotty record of economic policymaking. Convincing foreign investors to buy your debt is a struggle. Financial life is difficult in ways scarcely imagined by inhabitants of the lucky (and not large) club of nations with solid currencies.

In June 2000, though, Greece was lucky enough to join that club. By the skin of its teeth, it met the criteria for admission to Europe's...

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