David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC
Mr Bloom said the ECB is playing a game of chicken by waiting until it has secured maximum compliance from EMU's wayward states before coming to the rescue. "Once again it is holding everybody over the edge of the abyss until they scream for mercy," he said.
A currency union without the encumbrance of Greece would be viewed as a stronger bloc by investors, but much would depend on events in Greece itself.
If a return to the drachma proved to be a "ruinous experience" for the Greeks – as HSBC expects – if would mightily deter Portugal, Spain, and other from such temptation.
The worst outcome for euro and monetary union would be a double whammy where the authorities fail to control EMU-wide contagion, yet Greece somehow manages to claw its way out of crisis and make a success out of a devalued sovereign currency, as Argentina did after breaking the dollar-peg in 2002.
"That would be the disaster scenario. The euro would fall dramaticatlly. We think this scenario is very unlikely," said Mr Bloom.