A fortnight after the "troika" of creditors presented Greece with a "final offer",an EC president issued on Thursday what amounted to an ultimatum: "The day is coming, I am afraid, that someone says the game is over." At the same time the IMF negotiating team gave up in despair, packed its bags and headed home to Washington.

As usual investors remained sanguine: they still cannot believe that this high-stakes game of chicken will result in the head on crash that would wreck the Greek economy and the single currency. The euro gained ground against the Norwegian krone and the NZ dollar and was roughly steady against the US dollar, the Swiss franc and the Japanese yen. The euro did lose ground to sterling though, falling by one and a half cents.

The next deadline is just under two weeks away. Things are getting interesting.