The fear that began in Athens, raced through Europe and finally shook the stock market in the United States is now affecting the broader global economy, from the ability of Asian corporations to raise money to the outlook for money-market funds where American savers park their cash.
What was once a local worry about the debt burden of one of Europe’s smallest economies has quickly gone global. Already, jittery investors have forced Brazil to scale back bond sales as interest rates soared and caused currencies in Asia like the Korean won to weaken. Ten companies around the world that had planned to issue stock delayed their offerings, the most in a single week since October 2008.
The increased global anxiety threatens to slow the recovery in the United States, where job growth has finally picked up after the deepest recession since the Great Depression. It could also inhibit consumer spending as stock portfolios shrink and loans are harder to come by.
“It’s not just a European problem, it’s the U.S., Japan and the U.K. right now,” said Ian Kelson, a bond fund manager in London with T. Rowe Price. “It’s across the board.”