THE ECONOMY: Command the Tide

Spottily but ominously, prices had started upward.

Some of the rises could be blamed on scare buyers. Last week, hoarding housewives still roamed the nation's stores and markets, snatching up prizes. In Boston, sirloin steak went to $2 a pound. In Washington, a psychology-minded grocer put a sign out front: "Special: 5 Pounds Sugar, 98 cents"—just twice the price at the store across the street. By closing time, clamoring customers had bought 1,000 Ibs. In Allegan, Mich., a man asked to exchange a bag of badly caked sugar, confessed he had 250 pounds more just like it that he had hoarded...

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