Money: A Friend at Chase

The Chase Manhattan Bank, which loves to portray itself as the friend of borrowers big and little, last week played that role to the hilt. The bank, the nation's third largest, cut its prime rate—the interest charge to its best business customers for loans — from 61% to 6%. The repercussions were plentiful, and in part acrimonious.

Wall Street reacted happily. Encouraged by the prospect that falling interest rates could lead to a new burst of corporate expansion, investors bid stock prices up to a new high for the year. The Dow-Jones industrial average rose 7.83 points in a day...

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