Business: Lifting the Lid

The year began in a strange air of frustration. Everybody knew that arms production could not be achieved without dislocations of men and machines. But the dislocations and restrictions on materials for civilian use came before arms orders were ready to take up the slack. As a result, in Detroit alone, 125,000 people, 14% of the work force, were unemployed.

After a protest by business and labor, more materials were released for civilian goods.

The civilian producers turned out more goods, but customers showed no haste to buy; they thought prices too high. On top of that, the Federal Reserve Board's credit...