Business: THE BITTER BATTLE OF THE FRANC

AS the weakest link in the chain of major currencies, the French franc is the primary source of world monetary instability. The immediate fate of the franc rides on the long-awaited wage negotiations between Charles de Gaulle's government and French labor unions. Last week, three days after they began, those talks collapsed in acrimony. French unions called a 24-hour general strike for early this week and set the stage for a showdown that could determine whether France can avoid devaluation—and whether the world can escape new monetary dislocations.

With the promise of trouble to come, money markets came under their worst speculative...

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