Tied Down

Any doubts over whether the world’s markets still move in lockstep with the United States’ were laid to rest yesterday when, on a day the domestic exchanges were silent, a near-global run took place almost everywhere else, spurred by fear of a looming U.S. recession.

Many markets saw losses of 5% or more, and several hadn’t seen drops like this since September 2001. In fact, Sri Lanka  — Sri Lanka! — the Indian Ocean island nation whose annual GDP is worth about half the value of Bill Gates’ stock portfolio, was the only nation whose market rose Monday.

I suppose we can also put to rest the notion that Asia’s 4 billion-plus citizens have amassed the spending power to stabilize downturns in the U.S. Instead, it is clear America remains the world’s bellwether, and China, Taiwan, India, and yes, Europe, lean heavily — perhaps too heavily — on the backs on American companies and consumers to feather their nests.

Ironically, when we speak of globalization, the upside to jobs lost at home — the big hope — is the rest of the world’s economies will improve to the point of self-sustainability. We’re not there yet, not by a long shot.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He is also vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversees all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 20 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow