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“It won’t take much in the form of additional shocks to tip the balance,” the report said.

Morgan Stanley lowered its global growth forecasts for this year to 3.9 percent from 4.2 percent in 2011, and to 3.8 percent from 4.5 percent in 2012.

They blame the downgrade — and the next possible recession — on recent “policy errors” in the U.S. and Europe.

“This is eroding business and consumer confidence and has weighed down on financial markets,” the report said.

It has led safety-seeking investors to push the price of gold to another record high of nearly $1,830 an ounce, although it hasn’t yet reached its inflation-adjusted peak seen in the 1980s.

Even the U.S. dollar and yen saw gains in comparison with the euro, which was down 0.6 percent to $1.43.

Mr. Eisenberg wonders whether these fears will continue push investors to switch to neutral investments such as money markets and government bonds that won’t gain or lose much money.

“So the question for the investor: ‘Am I so worried about the future that I’m going to make investments that I know earn less for me than the rate of inflation?’” he said.