CREDIT: Bench Warmer

Consumer credit men braced themselves — they were going to have the unprofitable distinction of being the last men tapped for reconversion. From Washington came word that the Federal Reserve Board would keep the screws tight on consumer credit until manufacturers are again pumping out enough peacetime goods to meet demand.

In 1941 the consumer credit industry happily reckoned its alltime peak volume at $9.5 billion. Of this sum, U.S. citizens were pledged to pay $5.9 billion on the installment plan for autos, home appliances, furniture and jewelry; charge ac counts and...

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