STATE OF BUSINESS: Cash Buying

The Federal Reserve Board last week cocked an eye at the big bull market and tried to put a crimp in speculation. It raised margin requirements from 50% to 75%.

The FRB action was mainly a political move to show that, after cracking down on housing and retail credit, it was playing no favorites. Actually, there was comparatively little credit in the market. On Jan. 1, the amount of borrowing on stocks by New York Stock Exchange members was only $698 million, less than 1% of the total market value of listed stocks. Such credit was actually lower than in July,...

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