Is Greece really all that big of a deal? One would think so if you look at the way Wall Street is reacting. At the closing bell last Friday, the Dow struggled with the 18000 mark once again and many attributing the sluggishness to a possible Grecian default on its debt.

Then this morning when it was Why is Greece a big deal? Or is it?announced there was some light at the end of the tunnel and, possibly, a deal will be made by Thursday. But why are investors of any stripe paying attention to Greece, anyway?

In an article that appeared in the Atlantic a few years ago*, there was a comparison of Greek GDP with that of U.S. cities. At the time, Greece’s GDP was reported as something closer to $350 billion (in U.S. Dollars), lower than New York City. Lower than Los Angeles. Even lower than Houston, Dallas and Boston. So, again, why pay much attention?

Some are saying it could lead to dissolution of the Euro. Say Greece defaults and then exits the Euro but then nothing really happened. The sky didn’t fall and the locusts stayed home. In an article last month, it noted Deutsche Bank might leave the UK in case Britain decided to leave the EU after all. It’s not just Greece that could fall out of the EU’s favor, Britain is seriously considering leaving the EU well.

Okay, so, what does all that say? It may not say anything but it could say a lot. The problem is no one really knows what will happen if and when it does. It’s simply unprecedented. That means investors can expect some continued, extended volatility in equities until the matter is finally resolved. It’s hard to make sense out of something that has nothing to compare it to.

*U.S. Cities vs. European Countries: How Do They Rank?  The Atlantic online, July 24, 2012