Some of last week's visible and all too human consequences of slumping business and soaring prices:

Deadbeats. BankAmericard and Master Charge report that the number of delinquent accounts has risen to more than 5% of their membership totals, up almost a percentage point from a year ago. Thus member banks are reviewing applications more closely before issuing cards and making more use of bounty hunters to collect delinquent accounts The number of deadbeats that the National Credit Card Recovery Bureau is looking for has jumped 60% in the past six months. Says President Joseph...

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