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We find ourselves in a period of sustained economic uncertainty. Today, like 6 months ago, the U.S. economy is on the brink of a recession. Weakness in lending activity, coupled with weakness in the housing sector and related manufacturing industries has stymied economic growth since late 2007. At times, recession seems imminent. But, the official measures, such as quarterly gross domestic product, do not clearly signal that the economy is contracting. Further, prices are rising rapidly for food and energy. That is the uncertainty. Will 2008 be remembered as a recession year, or as a period of disappointing but slow growth? And, will 2008 be known as the year when inflation reignited in America. In