Business: Those Mystifying Guidelines

Executives struggle with the paper chase in never-never land

"The program-year rate of price change is the sales-weighted average of the percentage changes of a company's product prices measured from the last calendar or fiscal quarter completed prior to October 2, 1978, through the same quarter of 1979."

Anyone who is an expert at deciphering gobbledygook might lend a hand to C. Milton Allen, senior vice president of Houston's Panhandle Eastern Pipe Line Co. For the past two months, he and 15 aides have been waging a bleary-eyed battle to make sense out of not...

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