10 Feb '11, 10pm

Home World Will Middle East crisis lead to global recession?: Doing nothing runs the risk of even more air being...

For those with long enough memories, it all seems eerily familiar. Against a backdrop of already-rising inflation, the Middle East descends into chaos, sending oil prices surging and tipping the global economy into recession. Back in 1973-74, this is precisely what happened as a result of the Arab-Israeli war, via a boycott of the West by producers in the Opec cartel and a four-fold rise in the cost of crude oil. The crisis, though, had deeper roots: The inability of the United States to anchor the international financial system, given the cost of the Vietnam War and Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programmes, a steady increase in price pressures over the previous half-decade and the easy availability of credit as politicians tried to keep the long post-war boom going. Not that difficult to read across from 1973-74 to 2010-11, is it? The period since 2007 has seen an intern...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC110211-0000192/Will-M...

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