October 9, 1886
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
191 Broadwav, IST. Y.
Oar Telepboue Call'is
OIVE YEAR, in adrance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway.
J. T, LINDSEY, Business Manager.
OCTOBER 9, 1886.
The speculation in Wall street has been at fever heat during the
past week. The transactions in stocks were enormous. Taking
the two Exchanges, and making allowances for a number of sales
which are not recorded, the daily transactions have averaged from
800,000 to 1,000,000 shares per day, and this without counting the
bucket shops. The pace is very rapid and in marked contrast with
last summer, when, for several days, tlie transactions fell off to less
than 100,000 shares per diem. No doubt stocks will eventually
average much higher,but the outside public should bear in mind that
after such an advance as we have just had. Wall street is full of pit¬
falls. Some of the deals now going on are purely speculative; that
is, they are the result of manipulation, and are not based on the
merits or prospects of the stocks which are being " whooped up."
People in legitimate business had better stick to their callings, as
the outlook is promising in every department of trade. Barring
accidents and the unexpected, there is no reason to apprehend bad
times up to the close of the present crop year, nor then if our agri¬
cultural production is as good as it has bee a during the past year.
Mr. Samuel Benner, the famous Ohio financial prophet, whose
work on prices we have often commended, writes to a gentleman in
this city that he has no new forecast to make as to the future business
of the country. He stands by the letter he wrote to the Record
AND Guide, published April 10th last. In that communication Mr.
Benner predicted a good crop year and low prices for grain and
provisions. He also foresaw the depression in the spring due to
the labor troubles, but he apparently misread the signs of the times
for the summer and fall, for he said in so many words, " prices for
iron and stocks must continue on the average to decline to a lower
level for the next two years before there can be a chance for perma¬
nent advance." In this Mr. Benner was clearly mistaken, at least
so far as iron and stocks are concerned, while events have certainly
justified his further statement " with a fair harvest abroad wheat
will rule lower this year than we have yet seen for a number ot
years in the past.
Our "Sir Oracle" criticized Mr. Benner inthe issue of April 17th,
in which he took a more hopeful view, not only of the stock mar¬
ket but of the times generally. He said "This year Mr. Benner
seema to think the crops will be abundant, and this is also my fore¬
cast, although the acreage for winter wheat has fallen of largely,
the chances are that the crop will be one-third better than it was
last year." "Sir Oracle" further predicted that the crop of corn
would be less than last year, and these two forecasts were fully
justified by subsequent events, but the same authority was bullish on
stocks, and argued that the upward movement, which commenced
in the summer of 1885, would be continued for four years at least.
In all his recent uiiteranceo, "Sir Oracle "has been very bullish,
not only on stocks but on grain and cotton. He also believes the
business of the world is improving.
A member of the Citizens' Committee of One Hundred cannot
understand why they are ignored and often misrepresented by the
press. He declares he never knew a more disinterested body of
citizens. Some of the members have " bees in their bonnets" as to
the reforms which are needed in our city government, but so far
no one has shown any disposition to grind private axes. This
gentleman informs us also that Mayor Grace has few or no friends
in this organization, and that it will never indorse him. The com¬
mittee have been earnestly seeking a first-class candidate for
Mayor, and think they have found him in Orlando B. Potter. The
other gentleman they have thought of would not accept their nom¬
ination unless they were assured of the indorsement of either the
Republicans or the County Democracy. The committee will not
indorse the candidate of any other party, but of course they hope
their candidate is one whom either the Republicans or County
Bemoci'ats will be forced to accept.
sents nothing in particular. Henry George's candidacy involves
the recognition of certain very abstract principles, some of which
are doubtless objectionable to well-to-do people. But after all it
satisfies those who demand a platform which naeans something.
Doubtless the Committee of One Hundred will answer that char¬
acter and honesty mean a good deal in the administration of local
affairs, but claiming these admirable qualities looks pharasaic to
the friends of other candidates. Henry George goes further and
gives his theories respecting city government, which are good as far
as they go. We are afraid that the time has gone by for reform
organizations composed of wealth j- gentlemen to make the public
believe that they can put an end to the corruption of city politics.
Tliere have been too many of them, and they have generally failed
dismally in the purpose they set us to accomplish.
May not the difficulty with the Committee of One Hundred be
that it has no programme. How can they expect to excite any
enthusiasm for some rich respectable gentleman, when he repre-
Mr. Orlando B. Potter and J. Edward Simmons, late president of
the Stock Exchange, have been put in nomination for Mayor.
They are both excellent candidates and if either of them can get
the indorsement of the Republicans or County Democracy, they
have a fair chance of being elected. But they both labor under
the disadvantage of being very rich men, and if they enter upon a
canvass the workingmen's party will claim that they will be
expected to spend large sums of money in the canvass. Indeed,
Henry George, in his speech the other evening, declared that the
office of Mayor was virtually sold to rich candidates who were
expected to contribute from eighty to two hundred thousand dollars
to get themselves elected, while he did not propose to spend oue
cent for that purpose. Would it not look better if some union
candidate was chosen who was poor, capable and honest. The rich
could contribute to such a person's ejection without scandal, the
same as the working people are doing for Henry George's canvass ;
nor would it be hard to find a reform candidate to oppose not only
George but the corrupt politicians of all parties. James T. Van
Renssellaer, the Republican alderman of the Eleventh District,
fills Ihe bill in every way. He comes of a historic family; he is
thoroughly posted in municipal affairs, is honest and capable, and has
very little of this world's wealth. This gentleman is not known to
anybody in The Record and Guide office, but there is no doubt that
he is all we have said he is, and would make an admirable chief
magistrate for New York. We have warmly approved of the candi¬
dacy of rich men like Cornelius Vanderbilt, Theodore Roosevelt,
Orlando B. Potter and J. Edward Simmons, but is it wise, after
all, to put these wealthy gentlemen, at this particular time, against
a candidate who is certainly an able man while poor himself and
representing the toilers. The machine runners of all the organiza¬
tions as well as the Committee of One Hundred would do well to
act upon this hint.
The New Silver Certificate Issue.
Notwithstanding the chorus of approbation with which the one
and two-dollf ir silver certificates are being received by the press
and the public, far-seeing, prudent financiers regard their advent
with serious misgivings. The evil effects of this new paper money
issue will not be felt immediately, but it may result in creating
conditions, which will in time bring about serious disturbances iu
the monetary affairs of tlie nation. At first the new small silver
certificates will prove of great convenience. They will supply
currency to replace the diminishing bank issues. A nevr, crisp and
handsome note will replace the ragged and disreputable-looking
one and two-dollar greenbacks, and then from this time forth, the
cumbrous and unpopular silver dollar will gradually disappear and
hide itself in the government bank vaults. There are now over
$60,000,000 of these silver dollars afloat. in the channels of retail
tradcj and the treasury department expects to get rid of |65,000,000
of them before there are a sufficiency of one and two's silver cer¬
tificates to take their place ; but it is probable that within two years
time fully 50,000,000 of the metallic doUars will be stored in the
This new issue of certificates means inflation, though not neces¬
sarily a dangerous one, for the enlarged currency issues will be
based upon an actual precious metal dollar, into which they will
always be convertible. But they will have the same effect that all
additions to the currency ever had, whether the expansion came iu
the form of gold, silver or paper. True at first, the new ones and
twos will take the place of the withdrawn national bank notes, and
the clumsy and inconvenient silver dollars. But ultimately they
will do more than that. The 90,000,000 unused silver dollars in the
treasury will make their appearance in the channels of retail trade
in the form of silver certificates of one, two, five and ten-dollar
denominations. It should be kept in mind that a small note infla¬
tion excites business activity far more than the issuance of notes
at high denominations. All the larger movements of trade are
based on the number and rapidity of the transactions in retail
traffic, and these will be immensely stimulated by the superabun¬
dance of one and two-dollar silver certificates.
It is as yet an open question how many of these one, two and five
dollar notes can be issued. Indeed, it is idle to give estimates, for