Here's a really great video, shamelessly swiped from Wizbang, who seem to have redistributed it from the BBC:
Listen carefully as the whole European fiasco is explained in quiz-show format. Note carefully the advice the contestant is giving to his off-camera colleagues at the end. He seems to be something of a fan of Richard Russel, who is himself a fan of an impending economic apocalypse.
Being an optimist myself, I like the think the economy will mostly survive the current attacks on it, but have committed to memory an easy recipe for grilled duck, which I'm pretty sure would work just fine on the Canadian geese that are currently working industriously to bury Denver in goose poop.
In Greece, the Germans have told the Greek government that they can't have any more German euros to pay for largess to Greek citizens, The Greek government told this to the citizens, and the citizens took to the streets. The details are hazy, but if they stay true to form, the first think to be burned to the ground will be the local MacDonalds.
Over here, the government is taking notes, and doing what it can to make sure the peasants don't figure out who actually caused all their problems. To this end, they put together and manage their own riots, with union rioters, on government buses, with a police escort to riot on a private bankers front lawn. From the governments point of view, this is infinately preferrable to angry peasants with pitchforks and torches outside the capitol building.
When things start going South, the governments first priority is to hold on to power, the alternative being "chaos", to quote most of them over the last 3000 years. The usual procedure is to find a scapegoat to which to transfer the blame. There are 3 levels of approach:
Level 1: Unruly elements undermining the peaceful law and order of the current regime. This is dealt with using the local police.
Level 2: An organized conspiracy of easily identifiable elements who are preventing life from getting better for everyone else, to their own benefit is identified. This is frequently the more successful business elements in a society. The owners are replaced, sometimes violently, and the new owners, the government or cronies of the government, then give the workers a modest raise, from the national treasury, and everyone is happy, briefly.
Level 3: Shoddy foreign goods produced by underpaid foreign labor. This is powerful since it lets the peasants insert their own favorite whipping boy here. This is dealt with by protective tarrifs against the foreign goods, which results in a trade war, which frequently results in a shooting war. Frequently the winner is the side with the least managed economy, and the bozos in the offending government are finally replaced. It's a slow and expensive process.