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©ctober 18, 1884
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE.
Published every Saturday.
191 Broad-way, N. Y.
ONE TE\R, in advauce^ SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
OCTOBER 18, 1884.
The issue of the Ohio election leaves the result on the presiden¬
tial vote in doubt, with the chances £ lightly in Mr. Blaine's favor.
Everything now depends on New York, and the stalwarts hrve it
an their power to say whether Mr. Blaine can have the thirty-six
■votes of this State or not. So far it is understood that the office-
Jiolding Kepublicana have come to no understanding with Mr,
Blaine's managers. It will be a curious result of party faction if
Mr. Cleveland, who was elected Governor by the half-breed defec¬
tion two years ago, should be chosen President because of the
isecret hostility or lukewarmness of the stalwarts in this contest.
The contest until the close of the polls on election day will be a
very fierce one, and will, while it lasts, affect unfavorably the
business of the country.
The outlook for the stock market is very much mixed. The dis¬
turbing factors seem to be Robert Garrett and the West Shore
load. The former has undertaken to fight every leading railroad
interest in the East. He is at war with the Pennsylvania Central,
the New York Central, the Pullman Palace Car interest and the
express companies of the country, in addition to the Western
Union, whioh he is attacking by building a rival line. He is also
interested in the ocean cable controversy. As a consequence rates
are demoralized, and there is a gloom in railroad circles. But this
state of things cannot last always, and after the general election is
over, when the corn crop begins to move, there will undoubtedly
be a better feeling in the stock market.
The local contest is all in doubt, for as yet the bosses, with the
exception of John Kelly, have not shown their hand. Levi M.
Bates is talked of as the Republican candidate for Mayor, and
Robert B. Roosevelt was on tho slate for the County Democracy,
but at last accounts his name had beeu dropped. It is of vital
importance that New York should have a flrst-class Mayor for the
next three years. It wants another ?eth Low. He should be an
energetic business man, with ^ unimpeached character and free
from strong party bias. Tammany has done well, and its
action should be emulated by the County Democracy and the
Matters look somewhat brighter iui the real estate market. The
strikes of the masons and bricklayers are ot an end and the men
have learned a lesson which they will not forget for a year at least.
Were the political uncertainty removed dealers would speak more
confidently of tbe future. The sales last week both public and
private brought rather low pricea but then there is a better feeling
in the renting market. One very hopeful symptom is the excellent
prices bid for lots of the Fox estate in the annexed district on the
line of the Suburban Road, The market has been a dull one, though
strong so far, but there are those who think it may become active
after the general election is over in November,
The large wheat movement has been a surprise to the business
world. The farmers, contrary to the general belief, have sold their
grain very freely. Not since 1879 has there been so heavy a crop
movement so far as the small grains are concerned. Corn receipts
show a heavy falling off and for the obvious reason that the farmers
have none to sell of laat year's short crop. But it is a curious fact
that while receipts at what are known as the primary markets In the
West show that the farmers have been free sellers, the shipments
to the seaboard are far lees than in former years. The new wheat
is in fact in tbe bands of the speculators and is stored in the eleva¬
tors awaiting higher prices. These investors in grain may yet be
forced to sell at low figures iu the absence of any foreign demand,
but the farmers have their money already secured.
The fact that the farmers have sold their wljeat so freely, not¬
withstanding the low prices obtained, is nu assurance that when
the new corn is marketable it will also be sold. Farmers want
means with which to buy goods, and hence we may expect that by
December the railroads will have all that they can do in hatUing com
to the pointa of distribution and consumption, Wall street as
usual will probably discount this state of things in November. As
our imports are light, while wheat, corn, cotton and petroleum are
being shipped freely, we may expect exchange to fall so low that
gold will begin to come to our shores in considerable quantities.
The outlook for the coming winter and spring therefore is very
good, but the troubles in the general trade of the country are not
Our national bank note currency is rapidly being withdrawn, the
circulation is now down to $296,787,473, of which $143,949,090 is
secured by deposits of 3 per cent, bonds, which are rapidly being
paid off. Hence our bank note circulation is disappearing, but
with all this there is no contraction, for the gold notes and silver
certificates are being issued in greater quantities than the bank
notes are withdrawn. There are now $188,000,000 of gold and silver
notes in circulation, and should the whole of the $295,000,000 bank
notes be surrendered the Treasury Department will pay out ten-
dollar silver notes and twenty-dollar gold notes for a corresponding
amount. It is one of the possibilities of the future that long before
the close of this century the national bank notes will have disap¬
peared and their place be taken by gold and silver notes of bigh
denominations, the government greenbacks supplying the retail
demands of commerce for bills under ten doUars. It would be wise
if Congress should prohibit the issue of any bill under five dollars,
so that the retail money of tbe country would be exclusively gold
and silver, as is the case in England, France, Germany and other
leading commercial nations.
The Cause of the Depression.
The business publications which reach us from all parts of the
world a:re filled with complaints respecting the depression in all
the industries of mankind. There is so much wheat and other
food products tbat their price is unremunerativo to the farmer.
Cotton goods are in such abundance thac the mills are stopping
both in Europe and America. Wool is so low that sheep grow¬
ers are discouraged and are giving up the business, while woolen
manufactured goods are produced at a loss. Iron, the key to the
industrial situation, is selling in all the markets of the world for
less than cost. The coal industry is also unprofitable. It has been
found, too, that there has been an overproduction in iron steam¬
ships. One-third of the steam tonnageof theworld is unemployed.
Depression reigns in every house in Europe as well as on every
exchange in America.
The cause universally assigned is overproduction, and hence the
remedy suggested in every quarter is a stoppage of work and non-
employment of all the agencies of production until consumption
" catches on" to the former. Yet we have ventured to question
the wisdom of this view. We say that the difliculty is undercon¬
sumption, not overproduction; that millions of people on this
globe have too little food and tens of millions an inadequate sup¬
ply of clothing; tbat were all the wants of mankind, natural and
acquired, fully supplied, every bushel of grain would be in eager
demand at advancing prices, and all the productive machinery
in the world would be inadequate to furnish tbe clothing which
would b3 called for by those who now must stint themselves for
lack of money.
We have argued that what the commercial nations need ia more
real money. In every epoch of the world's history in which there
was an abundance or a superabundance of the precious metala in
general circulation prices rose and all classes of workers and trad¬
ers were proaperoua. This was the condition of the world under
the early Roman emperors. The great revival of trade during the
Elizabethan era was traceable directly to the countless millions of
silver money which was poured out of the Central and South
American mines after the Spanish conquest. The next upheaval
in prices and great prosperity was duo to the gold discoveries in 1849
in California, Australia and other precious metal bearing regions.
On the other hand the poverty of the Middle Ages waa due to the
disappearance of the precious metals because of the religious
prejudice against the mining of gold and silver. Of late years the
gold and silver mines, especially the' former, have lessened their
product at a time when there was a prodigious development'of
industry requiring more money in which to transact the business
of mankind, In addition to this natural scarcity of the precious
metals an artificial famine waa produced by the attempt of the
leading commercial nations to make gold the aole unitof\alue,
dispensing with silver, thus reducing the precious metal fund one-
half. .This theory will account forthe phenomena of.the distress
in trade and declining pricea the world ovei-, , ; -
But the Northwestern (Ghicago) Lumberiiiun considers this view
" a mere abstraction," It adheres to the general belief that "the
boom of 1880-81 overdid production, and for a time glutted the"
markets." It calls attention to the fact that money is abundant
at all the commercial centres, that it is a glut in the market_
"Why more money?" it is asked, "when we have too much
already." A little reflection, however, will sbow our Chicago con¬
temporary that the accumulation of money in the chief cities ia