In the latest sign that a Greek exit from the Eurozone is all but imminent, global bank HSBC ran extensive tests on their ATM machines in Athens and throughout Greece in preparation for a return to the drachma. The tests were rigorous and were done to ensure the machines could handle notes of different sizes and textures.
Being too overt about the preparations could lead to the very bank runs HSBC is trying to avoid.has done extensive testing across the board in Greece, but admits that it's difficult to predict what will actually happen if Greece leaves the Eurozone and returns to the drachma.
Mr Mackay said that the planning has been a challenge because it is impossible to do a "dry run" unless and until Greece leaves the single currency. "You can theorise and inform staff but you can't do more than that because it is A, inappropriate, and might lead to events you are trying to avoid and, B, there are legal, structural and regulatory issues," he said.
There's no question that the June 17 vote in Greece is going to be huge. Whichever way it goes it means pain for the Greek population, but those pushing for an exit from the Eurozone are trying to paint it as the lesser of two evils because at least then Greece will be back in the driver's seat currency-wise. I shudder to think about the resulting inflation and impact on the wider Eurozone.
In the meantime, the dollar is getting stronger against the Euro (natch), and the Euro is near the lowest level I've seen it since I moved here in 2008. If the Grexit actually happens (and I think it will), we might see the Euro at or below parity with the dollar, which could be a game changer.
All very interesting.