EARNINGS: The Proof of the Pudding

As tickers tapped out their reports of year-end earnings, they proved what many a businessman has suspected: war's end and reconversion has been easy on U.S. pocketbooks.

Some companies, squeezed between high costs, price ceilings and dropping volume, skidded into the red in the last quarter of 1945. But even the red ink had a rosy tinge. In many cases it was caused, not by a catastrophic drop in business, but by a laudable desire to pay off the old mortgage, i.e., the money spent to expand facilities during the war. When the war ended, companies stopped paying for their...

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