international economic crisis is a serious negative financial situation which affects a lot of countries throughout the world.
Consumers (those buying goods and/or services) , investors (those buying stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, silver or other instruments to get a return on their money so it grows), and governments alike are reeling from the credit crunch (banks are not lending money) worldwide.
What began as a mortgage (an agreement between you and a bank which allows you to borrow money to buy a house or other property) crisis in the US has led to defaults (failure to pay) on mortgages and a greater global economic downturn (reduction in economic or business activities).
The US economy contracted (to get smaller) by its worse rate since 1982 in the fourth quarter of last year.
Global stock markets have investors worried for their decremental (slowly decreasing) mood.
Tough economic times also may spur some governments to consider protectionism (defending domestic producers by taxing imports or making foreign good more expensive).
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