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Ootober 15, 1887
The Record and Guide.
THE RECORD AND GUIDE,
Published every Saturday.
IQl Broad-way, IST. '^,
Our Teleplioue Call is - - - -
OKE TEAR, in advance, SIX DOLLARS.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 191 Broadway,
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager,
OCTOBER 15, 1887.
Mr. John Mitllaly's book on "The New Parks Beyond the Har¬
lem " is now ready and can be had at the offices of The Record
AND Guide, 191 Broadway. Jt tvill also be found on the neics
stands on the Elevated road stations. The volume comprises one
hundred a^id seventy two pages of fine print and contains every¬
thing that can be told about the four thousand acres tvhich New York
has provided for its citizens on ihe further side of the Hai lent
River. A map showing the location of all the parks and thirty
illustrations are embraced in the work. The price of the brochure
is one dollar in cloth and fifty cents in paper.
The stock market has been very much depressed during the past
week. The bears have now had practical control of prices since
the 24th of last June. The market has rallied several times, but
the bulls never really had a good inning except on Saturday, Sep¬
tember 8d, when it was announced that Morgan & Co. were taking
care of the Baltimore & Ohio securities. Those who profess to
believe in high piices say the marKet has been unnatural—tbat
railroad earnings and the business of the country should lead to an
improvement in values rather than their depreciation. But the
tape tells the story. Prices were upheld for a time by deals in
Western Union, Reading and other stocks, but the tendency is
apparently downward, and the bears were never so confident as ihey
are now of the continuation of the demoralization of the market.
There are fears of a liquidation in the securities backed by Bos¬
ton capital. The Eastern financiers have been borrowing and
building very extensively in the extreme West. Then they have
been booming sundry land companies on the Pacific coast, where
what seems to us East an unwholesome real estate speculation is
under way, Atchison & Santa Fd in four days' time fell from 102
to 93. This is a railroad company which has added enormously tu
its bonds and share capital within the last two years. It has been
the great speculative card in the Eastern States. If it goes much
lower there will be consternation among the speculative well-to-do
in New England.
Bank officers report that money is likely to be easy in the imme¬
diate future, because the funds needed to move the crops and for¬
ward manufactured goods West are beginning to return to the
Eastern money centres. They say that the bank reserves will
make a better showing every week hereafter. But the bears hold
to the impression that this cheapening of stocks is due to other
causes than tight money. They claim that cash credit is getting
scarce ; that although the rates for the use of money may go down
somewhat, yet its purchasing power is increasing, which fact
shows itself in the lower prices of all commodities. Secretary
Fairchild, they say, does not understand the situation, for he
announces his intention of not buying any more bonds for the
present, because money can be borrowed for 4 and 5 per cent.
When this announcement was made on Wednesday it broke the
The Secretary of the Treasury instead of buying bonds is show¬
ing special favors to the banks in such a way as to increase the
market value of 43 and 43^s. He is lending out the public money
to the national banks, taking government obligations at par as
collateral. This is a good thing for the banks, who can loan out
government bonds at 5 per cent, on a deposit of government obli¬
gations for which they receive interest. This of course adds to
the value of government securities and postpones government bond
calls. So the money keeps accumulating in the Treasury. There
is no hope for prices or better trade or higher stock values until
there is some way of getting the currency out of the Treasury and
into the channels of trade.
Ex-United States Comptroller Knox, now a bank officer in this
city, has a plan for getting rid of the surplus, which he ventilated
recently before the Banker's Convention, He wants the government
to issue 2J^ per cent, bonds and offer cash in amounts so favorable
that the banks would surrender their 4 and 4i.< per cent, bonds
for them. This would permit the banks to largely increase their
issues of bank notes based on the new 2j^ per cent, bonds. It is
hardly worth while discussing this project, for ifc may be set down
:i3 a certainty that no Congress sitting in Washington will consent
to any additional issue of bank notes. The United States will
hereafter furnish all the currency, which will be based on the actual
deposit of gold and silver in the Treasury,
The Mayor and Registrar, so far as known, have not taken any
action to pnt into force tbe Block Transfer Reform law passed by
the last Legislature and signed by Governor Hill. It is understood
that soaie amendments to the law are to bo proposed when the
next Legislature meets. A leading official wants the ward to be
made the unit of " defined boundaries '* instead of a block. Another
reform suggested is to have the indexes kept separate from the
records. This would save, it is claimed, large sums of money, and
be equally satisfactory.
There ie to be a liquor as well as a temperance organization to
try aud effect the choice of members of the Legislature this fall.
The brewers and liquor dealers have pleuty of money and are
well organized, and undoubtedly will make their power felt, not
only in the elections, but in the lobby. What with this new
organization, the Prohibitionists and various Labor parties, the
result will be very much mixed after the votes are declared.
The Prohibitionists will gain very largely. Henry George will not
poll as many votes in this city for Secretary of State as he did
for Mayor last year. But he will get quite a vote outside the city,
and will draw so many votes from the Democratic party as to
probably elect the Republican State ticket The Socialists who were
clubbed last Saturday night may poll 5,000 votes in this city,
How to Get Rid of the Surplus.
The first business Congress should undertake after ifc organi/.es
is to nationalize the telegraph system of the country.
Let arbitrators be appointed as the law provides, and if the sum
th«y agree upon is reasonable let the government pay out ita
money for the control of the Western Union Telegraph Company.
If Jay Gould makes an unreasonable demand for the latter then
the government should go to work and construct a telegraph
system of its own.
If this course is pursued, two important objects will be effected.
The telegraph system would be taken out of the hands of Jay
Gould aad the surplus now in the Treasury would promptly find
Its way iuto the channels of trade.
The newspapers and the politicians demand a reduction of the
tariff or a diminution of the internal taxes. But this is clearly
impracticable. It would take six months at least to discuss the
tariff and revenue system, and every vital business interest in the
country would be disturbed. In the meantime the Treasury
surplus wouid keep on accumulating and a commercial panio
would be inevitable because of the concentration of the currency
of the country in the Treasury vaults.
'fhere must be no delay in emptying the Treasury of its surplus
immediately Congress meets.
We believe that we represent the bulk of the business public
when we say that the wisest thing Congress could do would be to
get rid of lhe unnecessary money in the Treasury by liberal appro¬
priations for harbor improvements and defenses—for improving
the waterways of the country, and for giving us a navy, a torpedo
service and guns suitable for defensive purposes. But it is idle to
expect any such action in view of the prejudice which the press
has created against appropriations for needed improvements.
Take a recent instance. New York is suffering to-day because of
the inability of the steamship lines to get in and out of our harbor
at all tides. Several million dollars are required to do the neces¬
sary dredging and channel making. The appropriations are wholly
inadequate, and yet our absurd Chamber of Commerce passes a
resolution calling upon Congress to cut down the revenue at a
time wheu New York wants money to continue the Hell Gate
improvement and deepen the channel in the lower harbor.
But if we cannot have liberal appropriations for river and harbor
improvements and sea-coast defenses, let us spend our surplus
money in purchasing the telegraph. It is monstrous that Jay
Gould should have supreme control over the most indispensable
agent of modern commerce. He has the quoting of all the market
prices on all the exchanges. The business secrets of every firm in
the country are or can be known to him. The news of the world
passes through the hands of his hirelings before it is given to the
pubUc. He has the press of the nation by the throat, and the active
business of the country is at his mercy. It cannot be that the
American people are so insensate as to allow this statf^ of things fco
continue after Congress is in session one month. There is not in
the whole country so utterly selfish and conscienceless a person as
Jay Gould. The commanding position he holds in the telegraphic
world ia a standing disgrace to all Americans.