Crash of '94, also known as the World Stock Crash of '94, is event in the Cyberpunk world.
Threatened by the growing power of the European Economic Community, the Gang of Four began to embark on a suicidal course of covert aggression later to be known as the "Quiet War" As EEC power grew, U.S. "interference" in Europe was less tolerated. Soon the EEC was the world power, and the U.S. was playing second fiddle, particularly in its overreaching international policies.
One example of this came in 1992. As the USSR staggered through the final stages of glasnost, the NSC continued with its outdated "Evil Empire" policies, blocking all aid to the Soviets, and insuring that its NATO allies did the same. Once the EEC was firmly established as a power, one of its first actions was to defy U.S. wishes and send much-needed food and aid to the Soviet states, over NSC objections. The result was that the Soviets accepted the EuroDollar over U.S. currency and NATO collapsed as the Soviets made peace with Western Europe for the first time in over forty years.
Infuriated by this loss of prestige, and also fearful that the Euros expanding space program (which had a prototype mass-driver on the moon by New Year's 1993) would give the ECC military superiority as well, the NSA embarked on a headlong campaign to undermine the structure of the EEC, using tactics ranging from stock market fraud to the attempted disruption of the first EEC-Soviet military treaty talks.
In an attempt to appear solvent (and to "show up" the economic power of the ECC), the Gang of Four also began manipulating the stock markets of Europe and Asia by hacking directly into the systems. These artificial currency and stock manipulations allowed the Gang to promote an illusion of American wealth, but at a high cost; when this was discovered by the EEC, the Euros simply leaked the info to the world press. With the implied security of the exchange rate undermined, the system collapsed. In later years, this disaster would be called the Crash of '94. In reaction to the discovery of this fraud, the majority of developed countries immediately instituted embargoes on United States trade. These embargoes were crippling to America, and only served to leading the Collapse.