Finance: At Fever Levels

Whenever the cost of borrowing swings to extreme highs or lows, financiers regard it as a signal of national ill-health. Last week interest rates for long-term securities climbed to a level that clearly meant economic fever.

For example, underwriters provided $25 million worth of Kansas City Power & Light bonds with a 6.67% rate, a record among top-grade electric utilities. New York City sold $45 million worth of housing bonds that offered investors up to 5.36% tax free, the juiciest return on a city issue since the early '30s. Most startling of all, the Federal Government paid its highest interest...