EARNINGS: Going, Going . . .

Second-quarter earnings nosedived to the lowest level since pre-war days. Combined after-tax profits of 200 big-time corporations tabulated by the National City Bank fell to $230,000,000, 16% below the first three months and 39% under the final quarter of 1941. While farm income and wages reached for the sky, corporation profits plunged for the pavement (see chart).

Main reason is the new Federal revenue bill. This spring U.S. business set aside $3 for the tax collector for every $1 left for the stockholder. In 1929 taxes took $1 for every $9 left over;...

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