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The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Pu&IiaA«d every Saturday.
191 Broadway, N. Y.
ONE TEAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS.
ConuDunicationB should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY. Business Manager.
MAY 31, 1884.
The political pot is boiling furiously just now, and will keep on
bubbling and Bjiluttering until the popular decision is rendered next
November. The agitation will do no harm. The questions at issue
oetween the two partiea are not vital and the fury of the fight will
be between the partisans of the respective candidates. Notwith¬
standing the popular belief to the contrary, the political excitement
of a presidential contest does not hurt business, but ratber helps it,
as witness 1880, 1876, 1873, 1868, 1864. all good years, with the ex¬
ception of 1876, which was the best year of the bad times, partly,
however, because of the Centennial. While the chances seem to favor
the nomination of Cheater A. Arthur by the Republicans, yet he
may be set aside by the doubt as to his ability to carry tbe State of
New York. Should he not be nominated, the choice may fall on
Lincoln, Harrison, Gresham or eome other dark horse. The Dem¬
ocrats Beem co have made up their minds to nominate Tilden, if
he will accept, if not Governor Cleveland will probably be the can¬
didate. It will thus be seen tbat the country will be in no peril by
anything the conventions may do. We look for a better feeling in
the stock market and general business after the nominations are
Mr. Hewitt's proposed amendments to the national banking law
have the merit of good intentions, but, as the Commercial Bulletin
points out, the phraseology must be changed if bank depositors are
to be really protected from the irregularities and speculative enter¬
prises of bank officers. A discount, under the peculiar decisions of
our courts, is not a loan, and Mr, Hewitt's bill, should it become a
law, would be no protection against future Enos, Fishs and Seneys.
What is needed is a provision prohibiting bank presidents from
speculating at all. It should be made a criminal offence during the
time which they hold fiduciary trusts. It is absurd to provide that
bank and trust companies shall invest in certain undoubted securi¬
ties and then place tbe funds of the bank in the custody of an officer
who is a notorious speculator. There are other respects also in
which the vorkiDg of our bauk machinery might be amended, but
Congress should, without delay, amend Mr. Hewitt's bill and pass
The bill providing for parks in the annexed district will, if
indorsed by the Governor, make a great change in the price of
realty not only in the Twenty-third and Twenty-fourth Wards but
in the region lying ou Long Island Sound as far as New Rochelle.
The interests which would be subserved by the indorsement of thi'
bill are very large and important. A postponement of this improve¬
ment for another year would cost the city a great deal of money, for
there is every indication that a rise of values ia imminent in all
the suburbs of New York. The metropolis of the United States
faas really less park room than any of the leading capitals of the
world. We have no parade ground for our militia nor space for
the open-air sports which have become an institution in thici
country. The boys and girla of the pubhc schools have no play-
groundi. The young fellowa in our New York college are forced
to go to Prospect Pdrk to play lawn tennis, Thousauds of people
are accommodated in this way in the great Brooklyn park, while
nothing of the kind is permitted in our Central Park. It is clearly
unwise to wait until the price of land is high before providing our¬
selves with plenty of park room. It will be a red-letter day for the
annexed district as well as a matter for congratulation for our
people generally when Governor Cleveland signs the admirable
park bill passed by the Legislature.
deavoring to embarrass the very persons whom.bis previous actions
had injured so severely in a financial way. Not satisfied with the
ruin he has wrought he now wishes to injure in every way the
bondholders of the company in their very natural desire to make
the best of a very bad bargain. These financial sharks bave no
bowels of compassion and no conscience.
The labor strikes throughout the country have as a general thing
been unsuccessful. The only exception we note is the success of a
carpenters' strike in Chicago. There ia an unusual amount of
building in that city, of which the carpenter seems to have taken
advantage. The building businesa seems to be exceptionally profit¬
able just now in all the large cities, and the mechanics connected
therewith have plenty of work and good wages. They should make
hay while the aun shinea, for labor must be content with smaller
rewards before very long. The present rate of wages in the build¬
ing trade cannot be maintained.
One of the first roads to reorganize after having gone into bank¬
ruptcy, was the Toledo, Delphos & Burlington. A committee of
the first mortgage bondholders, of which James M. Quigley was
the chairman, organized and went energetically to work to put the
poad into such shape that it could be made eventually profitable.
AU the bondholders ot the various divisions of the road agreed to
the terms of the re-adjustment, but the Boston banker who
originally promoted the scheme and marketed the bonds at absurd-
^ bigh figures has interfered, and by aUiancCB with outiidere iien-
Abciut the Banks.
The national banks are in great disfavor just at present. Since
the time they were organized, during the civil war, they have been
the pets of the business world and have generally been popular all
over the couutry. They are a great improvement over the old
State banks, whose issues were a grievous tax upon all who bought
or aold in any of the markets of the couutry. Under the old bank¬
ing regime there were variations in the value of the currency of
each separate State. Wild cat banks abounded, and counterfeits
were alarmingly frequent. But with the national system
came responsibility, and issues which were without discount
in the remotest regions of the land. They had other advantages
also, wbich made them very powerful in the national legislature
and the press, as well as in buainesa circles. But it ia the vice of
all credit institutions to intensify existing financial tendencies.
The banks have helped the government to create the corner in
national securities which is ao hurtful in many ways. They have
fed the firea of apeculation when it raged the fiercest, by loaning
money on narrow margins when pricea were at their highest. When
the inevitable reaction came and distrust was general the banks
did all they could to aggravate the prevailing fiaancial distress.
They refused to lend money on any security, even governments, and
actually forced solvent firms and institutions to go into bank¬
ruptcy. Then when the day of trial came it was found that the
banks themselves furnished the most striking illustrations of
unbusinesslike methods and personal dishonesty. Up to this time
every bill helping the national banks was sure to get through Con¬
greaa. In their war on silver they were backed up by the press
and the great business exchangee.
The bank magnates did not like the silver policy of the govern¬
ment, as it created a pap^r currency fav superior to their paper
issues, and made money cheap in regions where bank accommoda¬
tions were scarce, such as the South and West. Had we an exclu¬
sive gold currency, such as the banks desireJ, tbe rate of interest
would have remained high, and the catajtrophe of two weeks ago
would have been anticipated by a year at least. It ia now doubt¬
ful if either of the billa before Congress to help the banks will be
endorsed by that body. In the meantime the gold and silver cer¬
tificates keep on increasing and the couutry is beginntog to realize
that a circulating medium based upon an actual deposit in the
vaults of the government is far safer than any paper issue of a
bank. If Congresa would only withdraw the fives and tens of the
bank as well as the greenback issues, we would then have a gold
and silver currency to transact our retail trade similar to that in
vogue in Great Britain and Germany. In actually using our
reserve in g^ild for currency we would check the tendency to
export the ydlow metal which is a constant menace to the fiuancea
of the country when the balance of trade is against us.
The letter we publish elsewhere giving a history of the new build¬
ing law and explaining its leading provisions will be read with
intereat by all in the building trade. The law as passed seems to
have been an honest effort to protect the public without injuring
the interests of investors aud constructors of new edifices in this
city. The Inspector of Buildings cannot under the new law act in
an arbitrary manner. Ttie provision in regard to theatres would
seem to insure our citizens against danger to life in case of acci¬
dents or fire. Altogether the new law ia a satisfactory one, except
to unscrupulous contractors who wish to make money without any
reference to the kind of buildings they put up.
Notwithstanding the depression in railway shares many of
the returns show an increase of receipts over last year. New York
Centralis an exception, but that road has been injured by bad man¬
agement. Ita rivpls, auch as the West Shore, the Erie and more
especially the Pennsylvania Central, furnish more luxurious accom¬
modation for the aame prices, hence the unquestioned falling ofl
in the paaseDger buBiness of New York Central,