Business & Finance: Uneasy Balance

"We asked Congress for a transfusion," cried Price Boss Di Salle last week, "and they gave us an enema." Like the rest of the Administration, Rabelaisian Mike Di Salle was wailing that the weakened controls law threatened imminent inflation. But last week it was plain that an older law—supply and demand—was still at work. Instead of rising, a lot of prices were falling.

U.S. retailers, with business 20% below last year and inventories still top-heavy, were slashing prices in the biggest midsummer sales in years. Even the new relaxed credit terms (a cut in...

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