Business: Profit of Doom

Ruff huffs and puffs

Whatever else happened to Cassandra, there is no record of her going broke, and that fate does not seem to be in store for the latter-day doomsayers either. With their books and pricey newsletters, their investment advisory services and conferences at celebrated wateringholes, the professional pessimists are mining hard cash out of their predictions of catastrophe.

One of the fastest-rising practitioners of the art is Howard Ruff, 48, a smiling, pleasant fellow who works out of San Ramon, Calif. He is the author of How to Prosper During the Coming...

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