After the binge, the bill. And after an unhealthy delay, the promise of a bailout. But no sooner had the ink dried on a deal and the soundbites from various European leaders been aired on Sunday than the markets around the world began to retreat. If Lehman Brothers was the canary in the coalmine - when it croaked nearly all of the other investment banks were nearly snuffed out - Greece could be the catalyst for the collapse of the euro.
The problem is, there is no way out. European countries were like residents of a tower block without a fire exit. When the lift stalled, they were trapped. Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, was too slow to realise the danger, or perhaps she wanted to get next Sunday's regional elections out of the way. Eventually she realised that if the Greeks defaulted, German banks would be the big losers.
The EU had been dithering about how to rescue the Greeks since the beginning of the year. Finally they sent for the IMF. Reluctantly, they promised to hand over as much as ?120 billion (Dh522.45bn), slightly more than a third of Greece's outstanding debt. Even Ireland, itself facing its worst recession since the 1980s, volunteered ?460 million. The cavalry may have come too late. The very thought of austerity has sent Greek voters to the streets and a two-day strike. More than 20,000 people marched through the capital chanting "Athens, Brussels, listen carefully: this protest will never stop".
Yields on government bonds have soared while Spain, Portugal and even Italy look increasingly vulnerable. European leaders now face an unpleasant spring. Either they need to let Greece default on its debt, or hurry through closer fiscal union, with a fund to bail out heavily indebted economies. Neither is a prospect any European leader is willing to contemplate. "We are at a fork in the road," Mrs Merkel said yesterday.
Wrong. The euro is about to roll off a cliff. firstname.lastname@example.org