^ctoier ih, 1886
The Record and Guide,
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
1©1 Broadwav, IST. Y.
Onr Telephone Call .ts ..... JOHN 370.
om YEAR, in adyance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communicationg should be addressed to
C, W, SWEET, im Broadway.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
OCTOBER 16, 1886.
The business situation continues to improve. There has been some
slackness in trade, indeed rather more than was to liare been
expected this time of year, but the manufacturers are hard at work,
and the consumption of goods is fully up to the production. The most
remarkable fact connected \vith the industrial situation is the pros¬
perity of our iron and car work industries. Orders for steel rails
cannot be filled and all the roads are clamoring for rolling stock
to transact their increasing business. There is an excellent feeling
in real estate circles, and it is significant that the demand for lots
for improvement by working people is quite marked. This may
develop in time in a real estate speculation of large proportions.
The one cloud in our domestic sky is the withdrawal of bank
currency, due to the calling in of government bonds and the locking
up of $70,000,000 of current funds in the Treasury as a fund to
redeem bank issues. This money, under the law, can be deposited
in the banks, but the latter are not anxious this should be done, as
it would interfere with the high rate of interest they can now
demand in the street. Fortunately for the business world, gold is
coming from Europe, and this will relieve the market in spite of
There is much discussion just now as to what will be fche basJe
for bank issues when the government debt will be unavailable for
that purpose. But the writers need not trouble themselves; here¬
after the government will issue the paper currency demanded by
the requirements of trade. Nothing can be safer than a gold or
silver certificate, which represents an actual dollar in the Treasury.
It would be better, of course, if the notes issued by the Treasury
Department should make no discrimination between gold aud silver,
but the banks have lost public confldence as issuers of paper money
for the business community. It is their interest to make profits
for their shareholdersj and to do so they take advantage of every
crisis to tax their customers heavily. Their war against silver was
because the certificates made currency available at periods when
they could have reaped rich harvests by advancing loans to extra¬
ordinary figures. Every spring and fall there were regular
"pinches" in the market, engineered by the banks for their own
benefit. This has come to an end by the government issue of
greenback and gold and silver certificates.
At a meeting of the shareholders of the Real Estate Exchange,
a majority decided in favor of a declaration of a 2 per cent,
dividend this falb The property of the Exchange is supposed to be
worth about $600,000. The total income is nearly 140,000. This
includes rents for offices and auction stands, knock-downs, annual
memberships, etc. There has naturally been a great many expenses
in the building, altering and opening of the Exchange in the first
two years; but the prospect hereafter is that there will be a larger
income and a reduced expenditure. The objection to the payment of
the dividend was that there was an unpaid debt of $80,000, bearing
4:}4 per cent, interest. This seems a trifling matter on a property
like the Exchange, when one recalls the heavy indebtedness of
other corporations compared with their share capital. It is proba¬
ble that the Exchange may in time have a sinking fund to gradu¬
ally liquidate the debt while paying dividends. A proposition has
been proposed to issue bonds at B}4 per cent., taking up the present
debt, with the understanding that certain of them should be
caucelled every year.
The city press are united in condemning the Aldermen before
they are tried. Is it not barely possible that some of them, at least,
may have voted for the Broadway Railroad franchisn without having
been bribed. There must be at least a hundred thousand citizens
of this city who think we ought to have had a Broadway Railroad
thirty years ago. We certainly would have had oue were it not
for the unwise opposition of the late' A. T. Stewart and other pur¬
blind Broadway property holders. We are no defenders of our
Board of Aldermen. Our local legislation has been a scandal to
Democratio government for the last fifty years, but, in common
■' 'Ulli I . ». ■ .
fairness, we cannot consent to join in this outcry against men, all
of whom may not be i;uilty of corruption. Oar press, like the Arch¬
duke of Austria in Shakespeare's " King John," Is "ever stronger
on the stronger side." There is nothing in the way of cheap dema¬
gogism that it does not cater to.
The Sun calls Representative Hiscock to account for saying that
'* if gold should be withdrawn, contraction would inevitably follow
and a consequent disturbance in our finances." " It is lamentable,"
says the Sun, " that a man of Mr. Hiscock's intelligence should
talk in this way." In this case, however, the Congressman is right
and the editor is wrong. If we should get rid of the $640,000,000
of gold, and substitute the $400,000,000 of silver as our only metallic
basis, it would cause a frightful contraction and prices would go
down with a rush. In all silver currency countries low prices
prevail. Labor gets but sixty cents a day in Mexico, and from
six to ten cents a day in India and China. The true policy is to
use both gold and silver and all the paper that can be safely con¬
verted into the precious metals. The world is suffering from gold
monometallism, but silver monometallism would be still worse.
The treatise on the Prussian Land Laws, contributed to The
RfiCOED AND Guide, October 2d, by Mr. M. Fast, should be read
by everyone interested in the land laws of this couutry, and more
particularly by those who favor reform, which would make realty
easy of transfer and give us secure titles with very little cost.
This gentleman shows that a system is actually in operation in an
old monarchy like Prussia which is all that the most ardent land
reformers ask for in this country. Every intelligent person knows
that the doubt about titles, the delay and cost in conveyancing is
entirely due to the laws we have inherited from the past, and that
no one benefits by them save a certain class of officials and a few
lawyers. The stock of a telegraph company, which consists mainly
of Avires, poles and chemicals, can be transferred in Wall street
without a possibility of a flaw in the title within a feAv hours' time
and at a trifling cost. Yet a plot of real estate—say the Western
Union Telegraph building—could not be transferred in less than a
month at a very great expenditure and with a possibility of some
flaw in the title. There is no need of any sach embarrassment, for
land is transferred in Australia, New South Wales, Prussia,
Hesse Darmstadt, and in some of the cantons in Switzerland, as
readily, cheaply and safely as stocks and bonds in Wall street.
No lawyer should be without a copy of Ih. Fast's carefully-written
treatise on tho Prussian Land Laws.
Bimetallism and Prosperity in Business.
There is a widespread impression that it was the demonetization
of silver in 1878 whioh caused a panic in the fall of that year, and
that the only hope of a recovery of world-wide prosperity is the
rehabilitation of silver as a mouey metal. Ifc is argued that the
reason why we have done better than Europe was because we
partially remonetized silver in 1878. The distress in trade
throughout the rest of the world, and especially the deplorable
condition of India, has led to the appointment of a Royal Oomrais-
sion to inquire into this matter, which facfc is accepted as the first
step towards a return to bimetallism by the commercial nations.
Tbe banking class—the great capitalists—those who control the
money of the world, have naturally b^en gold monometallists, for,
a period of universal distress, while ruinous to business, is a
harvest iov those who own the loanable and investing funds.
Every addition to the debts of other people is a direct enhancement
of the property of the money owner.
Our Eastern press has made a vigorous fight for the banking
interests, and have done all they could to discredit silver as a money
metal; but now that the tide has turned, some of the most far-fceeing
of the financial papers are trimming their sails to get on the righfc
side of the question. The Financml Chronicle furnishes a case in
point. It is about the only Nevp York representative of the banks
whioh has ever given any facts on the subject, but it has, without
scruple, drawn wrong inferences from them. Lately, however, it
has been disposed to accept the inevitable, and iu ifcs last issue it is
openly for a use of silver concurrently with gold to measure values.
In response to a doctrinaire gold monometallic journal the
Chronicle says ;
It seems to speak as if the use of silver involved somefching entirely new
to be applied to commerce to-day, rather thau the continuance of something
very old upon and under the inflaence of which the commerce and values
of the present have been builfc. A new monetary system suitable for a new
world is uot according to c ur view the form the question takes. The nations
have got to accept the conditions as they exist and do the besfc they can with
them. Wide distress and danger of far greater disfcurbance have followed
interference with a currency almosfc as old &3 history itself, and which for
aboufc seventy years of this century had served as an absolutely perfect
contrivance for measuring values. Now it does not seem to us quite in
point or a happy use of words, to talk about alchemists in response to a
proposition simply to restore that situation. Nor can we see anything so
very di^cult lu such a restoration, except that a special effort is always