Business: A Threat to Global Growth

How the next OPEC-spurred downturn will hit countries big and small

As they awaited this week's two pointedly paired economic gatherings —the OPEC oil ministers' price-setting meeting in Geneva and the summit of the leaders of the seven top industrial democracies in Tokyo—the men who guide the Western economies were fairly exhausting their vocabularies of gloom.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Michael Blumenthal saw "some very nasty storm clouds" developing quickly as a result of the oil cartel's seeming insatiability for higher prices, while West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt intoned about "great danger" ahead for all...

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