Regulation W, the wartime credit curb which required buyers to plunk down one-third in cash and pay off the rest in 15 months, expired last week. But as the installment credit bottle was uncorked, most businessmen seemed to have lost their taste for the heady stuff.

Sears, Roebuck and Montgomery Ward cut their down payments to 10% and extended payment time on the balance to 18 months. But the credit agencies were more conservative. Said John J. Schumann Jr., whose General Motors Acceptance Corp. last year advanced $411 million on the sale of automobiles and other GM products: "It behooves...

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