In England, where a profit is still not without honor, year-end forecasts by bank presidents and industrialists receive—and often merit—sober public consideration. In the U. S. the contrary is so true that last week hardly a bigwig bothered to sound off as 1939 arrived. The few that did—Tom Girdler, Alvan Macauley, J. J. Pelley, Jacob Ruppert—were qualifiedly optimistic. Only Thomas J. Watson, president of International Business Machines Corp. pulled out all the stops, issued an "inspirational" statement on practically every phase of U. S. life. Said he, among other things: "Crime must...

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