With the economy picking up, the Federal Reserve Board has enjoyed a rare season of peace. Normally, politicians and businessmen accuse the Fed either of creating inflation by pouring out too much money, or of strangling business by holding back on cash and credit. Throughout the spring, however, the board's governors pursued a neutral policy, feeding out money just fast enough to keep pace with the expansion in sales, production and inventories.

This situation is almost certainly too idyllic to last. Interest rates have been inching up lately; recently, Pittsburgh's Mellon National Bank & Trust Co. lifted its prime lending rate...

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