October 31, 1978 – Wall Street – Inflation And George Meany.

George Meany – Labor paid a big part in America day-to-day. So did Wall Street.

October 31, 1978 – The World Tonight – CBS Radio – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

October 31, 1978 – aside from Halloween, October also signaled Wall Street to do what it always does this time of year; act up. Although not as dramatic this year as many others, the Dow ended the month on a slump, even though there were positive signs a day earlier – they were erased by this day.

Same old fears; inflation, jobs, food prices – the economy in general. Combined, they sent jitters through Wall Street – the big kids stayed on the side-lines while the small investors quickly sold out of fear inflation was going to push America into yet another recession. The inflation fears were fueled by word that an increase in farm prices was on the horizon. And October did what it did best.

George Meany and members of the AFL-CIO Executive Council gathered together to reject President Carter’s voluntary wage and price guidelines for labor, calling it inequitable and unfair and demanded a complete change in concept. To Meany the only answer was mandatory wage and price controls. Meany said at a labor gathering that the Union did not like controls, they did not welcome operation of the marketplace. But Recession was worse. Runaway Inflation was worse. Discriminatory application of wage and price controls was worse. Public scapegoating without due process was worse. Meany felt that the issue was of such urgency that President Carter call a special session of Congress for the development of a full and fair controls program. The White House was hoping for something better in the way of news.

And on a positive note – The Egyptians, Israelis and Americans all sat down to talk about a Middle-East Peace treaty, the first time it’s happened in ten days. American negotiators said they were all trying very hard to reach an agreement. Prime Minister Begin was sounding upbeat as he was readying to travel to the United States to accept an award, but he was openly defiant of President Carter. Before leaving for New York, Begin gave something of a lecture to the Carter Administration during political rallies over the past week. He was repeating the positions that were known to annoy Carter. Although relations between Israel and the U.S. appeared to be strained, in the context of treaty negotiations they appeared to be brighter.

And that’s just a little of what happened, this Halloween 1978 on The World Tonight from CBS Radio.

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