Courtesy Reuters


Every U.S. president over the past quarter-century has confronted an annual trade deficit. But the cavernous trade gap inherited by President George W. Bush dwarfs those faced by his predecessors. America's current-account deficit (which measures the cross-border exchange of goods, services, and investment income) averaged more than $1 billion a day last year, reaching a record 4.4 percent of GDP. Many economists worry that the huge trade deficit, which must be financed by foreign investors, could lead to a full-blown financial crisis if and when those investors become unwilling to fund the imbalance. Something as benign as stronger

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