We live in a period of worldwide economic expansion and prosperity. The
world economy is said to grow this year at some five percent, which will be
the third year above the historic average. Even if, in the coming year, the
growth rate should decline a little, the global economy looks bright and
prosperous. Led by some Asiatic countries, especially China and Japan, more
countries than ever before are reporting rapid economic expansion.
But no matter how bright the economic outlook may be, the international
prosperity is exposed to a looming risk, which has even grown in recent