The great unknown

It's the end of the world as we know it - well, if the panicked headlines of late are anything to go by, it is. There has been much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth over the sub-prime mortgage crisis (see box), which threatens to pull the global economy into recession.

The doom mongers have been having a field day predicting the worst scenarios, with some even suggesting that the crisis could deepen to the point where there will be a full market crash on the scale of the Wall Street crash of

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