CORPORATIONS: Pygmy Among Giants

One of the surprises of the recession was the steel industry's ability to operate at less than half capacity and still turn a profit. The chief reason for steel's sturdiness was a widespread modernization program, which cut industry costs and made production more efficient. Few firms benefited more handsomely from that policy than the nation's 17th-largest steel producer, a perky little maverick named Granite City Steel Co., located in Illinois just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis. While the industry is back to about 75% of capacity, Granite City Steel this...

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