On the Brink of Trouble?

The U.S. deficit isn't going away. TIME's panel of experts talks about what that means for the world

The year 2004 was one for the record books: the world economy grew at its fastest rate in almost three decades. And most observers predict that growth in 2005 will continue to be relatively robust. The developed world, to paraphrase British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's 1957 proclamation to his countrymen, has rarely had it so good. Why, then, are so many economists so nervous? When TIME's annual Board of Economists round table met during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, late last month, the discussion focused less on what is going right in the global economy than on what's wrong--and...

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