Wall Street's professional traders have long groaned at the periodic interference of amateurs, e.g., gossip columnists, bureaucrats, etc., whose wild "tips" or forecasts sometimes set off furious selling for no valid reason. Last week another amateur got into the act: Joseph Stalin.

At midweek came Stalin's answer to questions that a group of U.S. editors had telegraphed him. "Is a third world war closer now than two or three years ago?" they asked. Replied Stalin: "No." Although no one knew exactly what the exchange meant, commodity prices, which have been slipping, suffered their worst single day's break in weeks; spot...

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