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November S, JfgS
Record and Guide.
■gjr ^^ ESTABUSHED ^ M.ftRPH Sl"^ 1868. ^
Dev&teD to f^L Estate . BuiLDif/c Af^ct^iTECTJi^E ,Ko\jsei1old Decoratio[j.
Bi/sin'ess aiJd Themes of GejJeraI. 1;jt£i\est
PRICE, PER TEAR m ADTAIVCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Published every Saturday.
TELEPHONE, . . - JOHN 370.
iConmnmlcatiODS should be addressed to
C, W, SWEET, 191 Broadway.
/. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
NOVEMBER 3, 1888.
" Glimpses of the Future, Suggestions as to the I>inft of Tilings,"
'' Sir Oracle's " book, is now ready for delivery. It can be procured
at The Recced and Guide office, and its price is one dollar a copy.
The author declares that he does not wish his work to be judged until
the year 2,000 ; but our readers are invited to render their verdict
before the close of the present year. As we stated recently, this work
is composed almost entirely of new matter, and treats largely of
the more vital tojyics that would not be proper to discuss in the
colwnns of a business Journal like The Record and Guide.
The old superstition that a Presidential year is a bad one for busi¬
ness is not borne out by the records of 1888. Indeed, it was not ti-ue
of any Presidential year except 1876 and 1880. Despite the popular
belief our quadrennial contests help rather than hurt general busi¬
ness. It is ti'ue that when the election contest is most active the
theatres suffer in attendance, and stock ti-ansactions are apt to be
dull. This is ti-ue of the past week. . The market for securities has
been fitful; but, on the whole, it may be called dull, with a strong
undertone. The "street" is waiting to know the result of the
national contest, yet it is doubtful if it will make much difference
which of the candidates are chosen. Both Mr. Cleveland and Mr.
Han-ison are safe, conservative men, and it does not seem likely
that there will be any change in the conduct of the governmeut.
The " bears" say that should Mr. Cleveland he defeated he may
put a stop to bond purchases so as to let the country know the evils
of a steadily increasing treasury sui-plus. But it is incredible that
the government of a great nation like the United States could be
conducted under the insjah-ation of a small, spiteful feeling. We
believe the policy of the administration will remain as it is no matter
what the result of the Presidential election.
The " buUs " in stocks are of opinion that there will be a decided
advance iu values as soon as the result of the election is made
known. The business of the country, they claim, was never in a
better condition uor have the railroads ever had so much to do in
the way of freight aud travel. As yet, however, rates have not
been restored in the West, and thus, wMle business is large, profits
are meagre. This is really what is the matter with Atchison and
Missouri Pacific. There would be a marvelous change in the whole
situation were rates to be restored in the region west of the Miysouri
and fche Mississippi. But there are general considerations which
may effect values unfavoiably, if not this fall then perhaps next
spring. The balance of trade is heavOy against us. The returns
for the last fiscal year ending June SOth showed tliat for the first
time in thirteen years our exports were less than our imports ; the
present fiscal year will make a still poorer showing. We are not
now exporting any wheat or flour, our cotton exports are only two-
thirds what they were lasfc year, while om' petroleum export is also
light. Every fall since 1878 we have been heavy importers of gold
to settle tiade balances, but nov7 it is the United States wliich is in
debt to Europe. Were it not that the capitalists of the lafcfcer are
still purchasing our securities, we would uow be exporting gold in
large quantities. A drain from our shores next spring is more than
probable, for Europe cannot always keep buying American obliga¬
tions as it has been doing for fche past two years and a-half. Then
there is the chance of a foreign war during the S])ring. This adverse
balance of trade should be kept in mind by prudent operators in
Wall street. We can afford fco part with considerable gold, but
stocks ai'e nofc usually buoyant when the yellow double-eagles are
taking their flight to the other side of the Atlantic. Still the
chances are that some time in November and early December fchere
will be an active stock speculation in which the " bulls " will make
the most money.
There is a very absurd rumor in Wall etreet that Jay Gould is
buying the control of the Atchison and Sante Fe road. The busi¬
ness of that raih-oad magnate has not been the buying of railroad
securities bnt the manufacturing and selling of them. Hie plan
has been to buy cheap properties that were susceptible to develop¬
ment, and, after having got them in proper shape, to sell them in
any speculative wave that came along. This is why he always
talks "bull," but steadily keeps on selling. Now the Atchison peo¬
ple have manufacfcui'ed a multitude of securities between the Mis¬
souri and the Pacific Oceau which they cannot dispose of. To sup¬
pose that Jay Gould would take fchis load off fcheh- shoulders is aim-
ply inconceivable, bufc he may make ti-afiic arrangements with the
Atchison which would advance the price of Missouri Pacific and
enable Iiim to unload more of the common stock of that cor¬
Tlie lowering and stoppage of dividends and the reduced market
values of the principal Eastern lines of railroad have not received
the attention the matter morifced. The facfc is tbafc, notwithstanding
ifcs manufacfcuring activity, New England is falling behind com¬
pared with other sections of the country. Ireland's inferiority to
England has been attributed to the fact that it has neither coal nor
iron, and hence it cannot manufacture to advantage. Now New
England is in the same plight. It has fco import its coal and iron,
and now the States wesfc of the AUeghanies have fche further advan¬
tage of oil aud natural gas. This puts the States which have the
oQ and gas as well as coal and uon ahead of a section of country
which depends wholly on water power. It does not seem as if the
New England of the uext century wiil hold its own with the New
England of this century. The change will be all the more marked
in the emigi'ation and dying out of the old New England stock, aud
ifcs replacement by an Irisb and French-Canadian working popula¬
Lord SackviUe-West blundered in writing a letter criticising'the
American President and Senate. He has deserved the dismissal he
received therefor. His criticism, however, was jusfc enough. The
Republican majority in the Senate rejected the treaty to make
party capital. President Cleveland's retaliatory message was pure
"buncombe." The Republicans of the Senate have a very unwise
leader in Senator Edmunds of Vermont. He has always been over¬
rated, but he has rarely shown a wise statesmanship in dealing
with public affaii's. In fche skii-mishing for popular favor the Presi¬
dent had fche best of it, but it was au ignoble game on both sides.
The British Minister was all right in his criticism; but he ought
never have giveu his private views on a purely American topic to
any unknown corresjjondeut. Then he would nevei- bave been sent
iiis passport only an election was pending.
The Prohibitionists are making a much more energetic canvass
than is generally suspected. They seem to have plenty of money
and an excess of enthusiasm. A large vote by them weakens the
Republican National ticket; still it looks as if a final compromise
between the extreme tem])fcrance claim and the average public feel¬
ing will be high Ucense in the large cities and a local option among
fche counties, which will secm'e practical prohibition in the greater
part of the rural districts. This is the shape things have taken all
over the West and South. Real estate people—those w^ho now pay
all the taxes—are not, as a general thing, prohibitionists, but they
believe the saloons ought to bear their share of the pubhc burdens,
This city ought to receive .$3,000,000 annually from excise duties,
and in the whole State at least ^8,000,000 should be paid by the
liquor dealers for the privilege of vending ardent spirits. We are
told that our taxable rate in this city will be less next year than it
was last. Were we to have high License a very important diminu¬
tion would be seen in om- tax bills.
The Mayoralty canvass has proved to be an exciting one, and
the issue is involved in a gi-eat deal of doubt. If the Republicans
can hold the Harrison vote and cast ifc for theu- candidate for Mayor
he could be elected, but a gi-eat many Republicans have committed
themselves for Hewitt, and this makes the result doubtful. It
seems to be very clear that Grant will poll the greater number of
Democratic votes, for Tammany is splendidly organized and has a
Custom House backing. Of course Coogan hasn't a ghost of a
chance. He has been made the prey of the political strikers who
will get his mouey aud then won't vote for him. Whichever of the
other tln-ee is chosen will make a creditable Mayor. The Sun sug¬
gests a contingency in fche event of Grant's election which is worth
considering. It assumes that a Republican Legislature will be
elected, anyhow, in view of the unjust apportionment which obtains.
Then if Warner Miller should be chosen Governor what is to pre¬
vent the ti-iumphant Republicans from cutting down the patronage
of a Tammany Maj;or. Even if Hewitt were re-elected he would
probably,under those circumstances, be forced to conciliate "the
powers that be." A Republican Mayor would, however, be all-
There are two matters which the incoming Mayor must attend to.
One is rapid transit and the other is the opening of avenuefl
on the east and west sides of the city to relieve gorged Eroadway