By Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson, September 2011

Maybe you didn't notice, but it turns out the books holding information about the ancient state's debits and credits have been, as we say in other cases, cooked. Falsified. In fact, many experts hold that Greece is bankrupt, in default, penniless, call it what you will.
And why?
Simple, my dear Watson! The government has paid out more money than it gets in. To win popularity and, of course, votes, it has hired people to do jobs that hardly exist, subsidized state owned companies to create jobs (that produced nothing of value). And so on. And on.
In other words: One bought votes by creating the false appearance of well-being and affluence.
In the end, it didn't work. Loans must be repaid, with interest, and interest rises the more you borrow. So technically, if not yet legally, Greece is bankrupt. It will never be able to pay off its debts.
The trouble is a large part of the loans come from banks in other European countries, some of which are overextended. Which means if they are not paid back, they will collapse, taking with them other banks and companies and—most importantly—thousands of jobs in a terrible chain reaction.
That trust will disappear for a long time (taking with it investment and job creation) is a foregone conclusion.
In other words: Greece might draw us all into a huge recession. Yes, it affects the U.S., too, where 22 percent of the exports go to Europe.
Greece is not alone, not at all. If it were, the crisis would be rather easily contained. But Ireland and Portugal are almost as bad off and the same goes for Spain and—worst of all—Italy, which is a European giant. Sweden, I'm glad to say, has its business in pretty good shape and the same goes for the most important country, Germany. The trouble is that not even Germany is big enough to save all the others. In fact, the Germans will take a hard hit, too, as will the U.S. and the rest of the world.
So, what to do?
Nobody knows. All kinds of advice is given in newspapers, on television and by all kinds of politicians, but the consensus seems to be that there are absolutely no quick fixes. Maybe raise some taxes? Or lower them? Maybe lower pensions and sick pay? Maybe let people work a couple years longer? Create Pan-European emergency funds? Maybe let the worst sinner, Greece, leave (or be kicked out) of the European Union so it can leave the euro and go back to the old drachma, which can be devalued against the euro and other currencies.…
And so it goes.
Common guys and gals in countries like Sweden (or France or Germany) hardly notice that they live in the middle of a crisis. The slowly dying summer is very pleasant (some people still go swimming) and even if the wallet is a little thinner for many, life is still good. For now.…