Since the 2008/9 financial crisis, the world's central banks, the largest financial institutions, wealthy investors, advertising dependent media, paid for economists and the entrenched politicians dependent on campaign cash and bribes etc... to maintain power, have been kicking the economic reckoning can with low interest rates to prop up real estate, financial markets and social spending by financing public deficits with money created out of thin air.
Artificially imposed stability creates ever larger levels of real instability, no different than those with addictions to harmful substances.
Most global central bank balance sheets have at least doubled in 5 years.
Like Greece did after entering the Euro, many smaller countries borrowed more than could be repaid at low artificially low.
Other countries who could, took advantage of low interest rates while printing money to keep their respective currencies low relative to the US dollar being debased by the Federal Reserve.
When the Federal Reserve announced it would buy a bit less, US long term interest rates rose, affecting rates across the globe.
If interest rates rise, the value of the underlying debt falls.
As values fell by far more on government and corporate debt outside the US, investors increased the extrication of monies from what appeared to be more risky ventures, compounding the problem with what is now more widely perceived equity market turmoil.
It seems to have been determined that Quantitative Easing (printing money) didn't work, and was going to be curtailed, which was holding up a financial house of cards.
As the global economy is clearly slowing, many who didn't know are looking at an Emperor with no clothes now that the veil of QE can be seen for what it is.
I believe the world faces a massive debt restructuring, where investors take the hit instead of government bailouts like last time.
Already happened in Cyprus.
It's just a question of when a very pushed on string snaps back.