STATE OF BUSINESS: Facts & Figures, Mar. 21, 1949

Margins. Texas' Wright Patman, chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, demanded that stock market margins be reduced from 75% to 50%. He pointed out that the buyer of an $1,800 auto must pay only $600 down, but the buyer of $1,800 of stock must still pay $1,350 down. Said Patman: high margins had "almost entirely dried up" the capital market. The Federal Reserve Board was "studying" the matter.

Railroads. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. reported a net profit of $62.8 million for 1948, second biggest in its history (biggest: 1942-5 $73.6 million). But its wholly...