Page 6--Saturday, May 23 1981-The Michigan Daily
From AP and UPI
NEW YORK-The nation's major
banks, in their second increase this
week, boosted their prime lending rates
yesterday to 20.5 percent, placing the
closely watched indicator of borrowing
costs closer to the record 21.5 percent
level reached last December.
The half percentage-point rise from
20 percent came as the interest rate
banks charge each other for overnight
loans of uncommitted reserves edged
THE RATE ON federal funds rose
Thursday to just a fraction above 2 per-
cent and remained around 20 percent
yesterday, compared with about 15
percent in late March, when the prime
rate was 17 percent. A year ago, the
prime stood at 14 percent and the
federal funds rate was 9.5 percent.
The prime rate is the interest rate
banks use as a base for loans to their
blue-chip customers. But some valued
corporate clients are able to negotiate
loans below the prime. Consumer loan
rates are indirectly affected by changes
in the prime.
In more encouraging financial news,
the government reported that the con-
sumer price index rose just 0.4 percent
in April, for its smallest increase in
IN MARCH, the index rose 0.7 per-
cent. Should similar figures continue to
come in the months ahead, the nation
would have a good shot at its first year
of single-digit inflation since 1978.
Many economists in the financial
community thinkit will happen. For in-
stance, Schroder Capital Management
Inc. is projecting a rate of about 8 per-
cent for the year.
"We expect the current softness in
the world oil markets to last throughout
this year before the markets gradually
tighten in 1982," Aubrey Zaffuto, the
firm's economist, wrote recently.
Master thief Welch
gets life sentence
From AP and UPI
convicted last month of the murder of,
noted author and cardiologist Michael
Halberstam, was sentenced yesterday,
to nine consecutive life prison terms.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexia
Morrison, who prosecuted the case, had
asked District of Columbia Superior
Court Chief Judge H. Carl Moultrie III
to impose the maximum sentence,
which he did.
WELCH, 41, was convicted in April of
the Dec. 5, 1980, fatal shooting of
Halberstam during a burglary at the
physician's Washington, D.C. home. He
also was convicted of committing four
burglaries earlier that evening.
Welch would be eligible for parole in
143 years. The judge said, however,
that the defendant's jail term would not
begin until he has served any time still
left from a New York State burglary
conviction. Welch escaped from prison
eight years ago, while serving a prison
term on that charge.
Welch was dubbed a master thief by
Washington area police who estimated
he stole at least $3 million in valuables
from area homes between his 1974
escape from a New York state prison
and his arrest.
HE LIVED in a $250,000 home in the
well-to-do suburb of Great Falls, Va. He
paid cash for the home, as he did for a
$100,000 summer home near Duluth,
Minn., and two Mercedes-Benz
Ann Arbor Civic Theatre
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