Business: The Cold Light of Levy

In a mood perhaps too wishful, some top bankers have insisted lately that the OPEC oil cartel's domineering note in the world economy would soon diminish. But last week Walter Levy, dean of U.S. oil experts, punctured that optimism. In a closely argued study, he contends that OPEC's balance of payments surpluses—and high prices—will continue disrupting the global economy at least through the early 1980s.

Recent analyses by New York's First National City Bank, Chase Manhattan and Morgan Guaranty Trust suggest that OPEC's trade surpluses will peak around 1978 and actually swing to a deficit, perhaps of $56 billion (Morgan Guaranty's figure),...

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