INTEREST RATES: Free Fall

Early in the wage-price freeze, labor leaders and some Democrats urged President Nixon to slap controls on interest rates too The Administration refused, contending that free-market rates were poised for a drop that controls might actually prevent. As Phase II begins, with loan charges still uncontrolled, that judgment seems vindicated. Interest rates have declined substantially over a broad front, making this part of Nixon's New Economic Policy an unqualified success for the moment.

The fall in rates lowers costs both for businessmen borrowing to buy new equipment or to build inventory, and for consumers financing major purchases through bank loans....

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