RETAIL TRADE: What, No Fire Sales?

With a perfectly straight face, business analysts Standard & Poor's Corp. recently predicted: "If small business should encounter inventory losses [after war's end], the moral hazard would increase sharply. Hence, fire underwritings . . . will probably result in a further loss this year."

By last week there were no signs of a wave of fires or fire sales in shops. Many a delighted merchant watched his sales curve upwards, despite the closing of war plants and the rising pool of jobless. It was still a race between the harried merchant searching for goods to sell, and impatient shoppers grabbing...

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