The Wages of Consumerism

Viviane Dalles / REA / Redux

Just browsing, thanks: A shopper in New Delhi weighs her dwindling options

Reverberations from the implosion of the U.S. debt bubble can be felt a long way from Wall Street. Gaurav Rege was a hotel manager near Rishikesh, an Indian hill station at the foot of the Himalayas. He and his new wife are young, educated, well-off — and worried. A member of India's growing consumer culture, Rege, 30, took out an adjustable-rate loan two years ago to buy an investment property near Bangalore, but his monthly payments have jumped because of tighter credit and rising interest rates. He has abandoned plans to get an M.B.A. because student loans are now...

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