The Euro Debt Crisis and Its Impact on the World - dummies

The Euro Debt Crisis and Its Impact on the World

By Julian Knight

Britain may be in the front line of the Euro crisis, but it is not the only country affected. The Eurozone is a massive market for businesses from the United States, China, India, Japan, Russia and the other major world economic powers. China has considered lending money to Europe, they are that concerned that the Euro may collapse. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which was set up to help countries in economic difficulty, set aside hundreds of billions of dollars for a bailout of some of the Eurozone countries. The wider world is so keen to see the Euro survive — even if that means it has fewer members — for the following reasons.

  • To preserve the Eurozone’s massive consumer market. A staggering 322 million Europeans use the Euro every day. It’s the currency of seventeen nations. Besides daily activities, these people use the Euro to buy goods and services from overseas — if there was a collapse in its value, then they would be less able to buy imports.

  • To prevent a global recession. A collapse of the Euro or a situation where some European governments would be unable to repay their debt would have a huge, negative impact on the world economy. It would resemble the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 (in truth, it could be much worse than that). At the very least, businesses around the globe would think twice about investing and taking on new staff while others might start to trim their operations and cut jobs. A global economic recession would be highly likely.

  • To protect the world financial system. Banks around the globe have invested in the government debt of Eurozone countries. These banks also hold large amounts of Euros. If the current crisis gets much worse, then the government debt and currency that they hold will fall in value, which could undermine their own financial well being. It could be like the 2007 and 2008 financial crash all over again, with the global banking system under threat. This would be bad news for everyone.

It’s not just the 322 million people in the Eurozone which depend on their currency — there are 150 million people in African countries whose currencies are pegged to value the Euro. If the Eurozone fragments and the value of the Euro collapses, these African countries will see the value of currency collapse too.

The global economy is interrelated, so if major trading blocks like the Eurozone or countries like the US or China go into recession, it’s likely to affect economic growth around the world.