RUSSIA: Ivan in Creditland

For years, Soviet economists have inveighed against installment buying as simply another hobnail in the capitalist heel grinding the faces of the poor. When a Western worker lost his job, they declared, he lost his car, his furniture, even the home on which he could no longer keep up payments. Last week, in an unabashed about-face, workers all over Russia were invited to sign up for the installment plan as a wide range of Soviet consumer goods were made available on credit.

In Moscow's mammoth GUM department store a plump, blonde secretary...

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