Don’t expect Asia to finance the next boom for the United States.
NYT: Tremors from Wall Street are rattling Asian confidence, leading many investors to question the wisdom of being invested in the United States to the tune of trillions of dollars.
Asian investors were starting to show hesitation even before the financial earthquake of the last week. Now, a wariness toward the United States is setting in that is unprecedented in recent memory, reaching from central banks to industrial corporations, from hedge funds to the individuals who lined up here to withdraw money from the American International Group on Wednesday.
Asia’s savings have, in essence, bankrolled American spending for decades, and an Asian loss of confidence in American financial institutions and assets would have dire consequences for both the United States government and American taxpayers.
The potential for panic is stoked by Asian news organisations, which tend to focus more on business and economics than on politics, which can be touchy here. Their coverage has been obsessive and unrelentingly negative about the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch’s rush to find a buyer and the turmoil at A.I.G.
The nonstop deluge of bad publicity for American investments seems to be seeping into the consciousnesses of the rich and middle class across Asia.
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