PRICES: Hell for Leather

All of a sudden there was a crisis in shoes. The entire U.S. shoe industry seemed threatened with imminent shutdown. Several plants actually closed. Reason: now that OPA had returned from the grave, no hides and leather were going to market.

Until June 30, OPA had held the price of cattle hides to 15½¢ a Ib. When ceilings came off, U.S. hide prices raced to catch up with world prices, went as high as 27¢ before the old ceilings were clamped on again 25 days later. Despite OPA's interim warning to buyers, 900,000 hides were bought in the hectic free...