WORST-CASE SCENARIOS

HOW GOOD TIMES COULD STOP ROLLING

Was Wall Street's recent stock-market paroxysm just an isolated incident? Obviously, nearly everyone hopes so. But students of gloom and doom have developed some apocalyptic scenarios. A sampler:

THE JAPANESE THREAT The world's second largest economy, in a severe slump for most of the '90s, could get pushed into depression by the financial crises in Southeast Asia, which gets nearly 40% of all Japanese exports. More alarming, roughly one-third of all loans in Southeast Asia--many now in default--came from fragile Japanese financial institutions. Says University of Chicago political economist Marvin Zonis: "To raise needed liquidity, they might sell their holdings of...

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