STATE OF BUSINESS: Whither Money?

After a year of the tightest money since the 1920s, the U.S. last week experienced a slight easing in the general demand for funds. It was partly due to the depressing effects of the steel strike and industry's uncertainty about investing heavily in inventory before a settlement is reached. But the Federal Reserve Board also eased money to take care of the usual extra demands around Christmas by permitting member banks to count a percentage of their vault cash as reserves, thus in effect adding some $1.4 billion in lending power.

The slight easing had no effect on interest rates....