State of Business, Savings & Loan: Waiting for the Mailman

STATE OF BUSINESS

It has been a good year for widows and orphans — and the other millions of Americans who regularly look in their mails for that tangible token of people's capitalism: the dividend check. With corporate profits running at record highs, the U.S.'s 17 million stockholders have watched expectantly to see what firms would share their prosperity by increasing dividends. Last week's cliffhanger was giant A.T. & T., which kept 2,200,000 shareholders agonizing while its 18 directors debated behind closed doors whether to raise the 900 quarterly dividend of the world's largest utility. A.T. & T.'s directors decided against...

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