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BUSINESS:

LITTLE FEAR ON WALL ST. OF DEFAULT, AT MOMENT

 

 

Wall Street is showing few signs so far that it is fearing the financial panic it has been predicting should the government default on its debt.

The fiscal impasse in Washington continued to weigh on stock prices on Monday, as the market’s “fear gauge,” the C.B.O.E. volatility index, jumped 15.95 percent to its highest level since June. Nonetheless, the market reaction to date has been muted compared with past crises.

But the relative calm on Wall Street is worrying some investors, who fear the markets will not signal to politicians the true danger of hitting thedebt ceiling until it is too late.“We all tell ourselves, ‘This is something that is not going to happen,’ ” said David Coard, the head of fixed-income trading at the Williams Capital Group. “This would be like a black swan event — it’s not something that you would have thought that the U.S. could do in a million years.”

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MAGAZINE:

WHO MADE MOVIE POPCORN?

 

 

By PAGAN KENNEDY ----- In the 1920s, movie palaces rose up around the country like so many portals into a glamorous world. After you bought a ticket, you might pass through gilded archways and ascend a grand staircase lighted by a crystal chandelier to find your velvet seat. Eating was not meant to be part of the experience, says Andrew F. Smith, author of “Popped Culture: A Social History of Popcorn in America.” Theater owners feared that audiences would strew popcorn and peanuts on those crimson carpets. They hung signs discouraging people from bringing in food from vendors parked outside and didn’t sell it themselves.

A widow named Julia Braden in Kansas City, Mo., was one of the rare concessionaires who managed to talk her way inside. She persuaded the Linwood Theater to let her set up a stand in the lobby and eventually built a popcorn empire. By 1931, she owned stands in or near four movie theaters and pulled in more than $14,400 a year — the equivalent of $336,000 in today’s dollars. Her business grew even in the midst of the Depression, at the same time that thousands of elegant theaters went bust. 

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