Editor's Comment

Article excerpt

As the WQ goes to press, Wall Street is riding a roller coaster, alarmed by anxious talk of "global economic contagion" and worries about the prospects of U.S. companies. The economies of Japan, Russia, and Indonesia are only at the forefront of those teetering on the edge of disaster. Amid such alarms, this issue's focus on the promise (and perils) of the emerging digital economy couldn't be more timely.

Consider, for example, the fact that the global network of telecommunication-linked computers is already a big force, possibly the biggest, behind the rise of our interconnected global economy. Not only do networked technologies make new kinds of commerce across borders and oceans possible; these technologies, and the content they carry, are increasingly the object of such commerce. As the digital economy goes, to a large extent, so goes the global economy.

Consider, too, how networked technologies helped precipitate the turmoil. By linking national economies with others, the cybermarket has increasingly forced all players to play by common, or at least similar, rules - to some nations' dismay and disadvantage. …