Dividends: Car Wars

Battling over interest subsidies

New York City subway riders have long complained about the worn, graffiti-plastered cars that frequently break down and often lack air conditioning or even overhead lights. So it was good news earlier this year when the city decided to buy 825 gleaming new cars and retire many of the worst clunkers in the system.

Some unforeseen consequences of that decision, however, now threaten to ignite an international brawl. Trouble reached a climax last week when Treasury Secretary Donald Regan refused to grant cheap federal financing to aid the ailing Budd...

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