The Gulf: Full Tilt into Trouble

The oil shock triggered by Iraq's seizure of Kuwait could plunge the U.S. into a long-feared recession -- or has it already arrived?

"Does this feel like a recession, or is it just me?" For several months, that question has been nagging at millions of Americans as the U.S. economy poked along in the slow lane. From New England computer makers to California missile builders, many industries that boomed in the go-go '80s have slumped in the slo-mo '90s. But the sudden spurt in the cost of crude oil brought on by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait -- from about $20 per bbl. on Aug. 1 to a high of more than $28 per bbl. last week -- threatened to turn an already painful slowdown...

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