Letter From Europe: Panic Is Not on the Menu--Yet

When the globe's rich and powerful gathered to schmooze and ski at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, two months ago, the Europeans had a certain spring in their step. Blackouts in California and chads in Florida were making the American colossus look a little silly. Europe's 2001 growth rate seemed likely to beat the Land of Greenspan's for the first time in a decade. In the members' lounge, elegantly dressed CEOs quietly talked up the coming decade of Europe.

Well, maybe. Thanks mainly to the unlikely culprit of livestock disease, enthusiasm for that happy prophecy has moved to the...

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