Mark Weisbrot guardian.co.uk
The European authorities are playing a dangerous game of "chicken" with Greece right now. It is overdue for US members of Congress to exercise some oversight as to what our government's role is in this process, and how we might be preparing for a Greek debt default. Depending on how it happens, this default could have serious repercussions for the international financial system, the US economy and, indeed, the world economy.
The US government has a direct and significant role in the Greek crisis because the US treasury department has the predominant voice in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF, together with the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB) – the three are commonly referred to as "the Troika" – are negotiating a new austerity package with the Greek government, in return for a new bailout deal. This package promises more suffering for the Greek people – that is acknowledged by all sides. But the Troika thinks it can ram the programme through the Greek parliament on Tuesday, with the threat that the IMF will not disburse the next $17bn instalment of Greece's current loan package – thus putting Greece in a situation of sudden default.