Opinion: One Slice of the Pie

For all their worries, businessmen rarely sound like apocalyptic prophets. Yet last week President Rudolph A. Peterson of the San Francisco-based Bank of America, the world's largest private bank, gave ominous voice to a problem that increasingly dismays many U.S. leaders. In a London speech, Peterson warned that Europe's "new economic nationalism" and the protectionist response it seems to be stirring up in the U.S. have created an impasse that could undermine world prosperity and even lead to war.

"The growing spirit of factionalism is a clear danger to the cohesion of...

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