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January 15, 1898.
Record and Guide
Defied io REA.LEsTAn.BL]LDiKG Aji!::i<nzcmii\E>(ousEiioU)DE«HfiitH
BiJsh/ess Alb Themes OF GejJer^V Irfrti^si.
PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS.
I'tibllskcd every Saturday
TBLErHONE, .... COHXLANDT 1370.
Gommunlcatlons Bhould be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
J. T. LIND8EY, Business Manager.
"Kn-icred al the Post-Offlce at A'eio York, K. Y.. as si-co-nd-class mailer."
JANUARY 15. 189S,
THE NEW INDEX.
Today ive will issac the Index tu Vol. LX, that is for the period
from July to December, 1897. This publication is note indis¬
pensable io every one iu the real esUile liuf'ini'ss, <ts u-ith it ihey
posscssa complete record to ALL real cslale Ininsactions.
The ludcr refers not onlg to Conveyance.^ and Morigages, but lo
Leiixes, Auction Sulen, and J'rojeeled- Duildings and Ihc arvmi'ic-
tnent is such that re/'crenccs arc wade ■unilcr a single entry, so that
ALL records fled during the six months ajfecting a giren piece of
properly are risible at a glance. The cost of Ihe Index is sfl.(K) and
orders for it should at once be sent io the office of jtuhUcaiiou, 14
and IG Vesey Street.
*T" HERE lias grown up a clivergenee, of opinion on the iin-
*■ mediate future of the stock market and, as a consequence,
trading lias become more active than liefore, because the sellio!;
does not dampen the ardor of the bulls. The news of the dis¬
turbances at Havana were used for all they were worth to get
prices down, but they turned out not to be worth very much:
the public is foolish, but not so foolish as to be carried away by
the insane inferences of the sensational press and reports spread
by speculators for a fall. The genuine movement, and the
foundation on which to base calculations, investment buying, is
still quite satisfactory. Not only is the daily absorption of
bonds unusually large, but there are distinct inquiry and demand
for stocks that have demonstrated investment qualities by pay¬
ing dividends for some years. It is under this Inquiry and de¬
mand that New York Central, Lake Shore, Great Northern and
others are moving up witii the prospect that they will sell here
on similar bases to what the British railroad shares sell on in
their home market. Refunding schemes are. of course, helping
this advance, but its chief reason is found in the fact that the
public is convinced of the permanency of the improvement in
business, and the consequent continued prosperity of the rail¬
roads. This view is confirmed by the recent advance in the
price of structural iron, and other facts showing bettered de¬
mand for staples. While such is the condition of our trade and
commerce any undesirable outcome of the Cuban situation could
affect the market only temporarily. With no such evil to be
feared, shorting will be a poor operation, so long as tliere is
room for the market to broaden in. The bull movement has
obviously not attained its full growth and, under the conditions
of the time, growth can only be checked by more serious trouble
than any that can be foreseen now.
ONE of our foreign exchanges calls attention to the fact that
there were no Cabinet changes in f ranee during last year, and
that, although nearly two years old, the Meline ministry is still
standing and stronger than ever. This is remarkable, consider¬
ing how the parliamentary forces are cut up into small parties
•and how easily coalitions against previous ministries were
formed. It can only be accounted for by the belief that France
is perfectly satislied with the protectionist policy of M. Meline
and his coadjutors. Another remarkable fact, which may create
no end of discussion, is that the population of France is increas¬
ing. In 189IJ there was an excess of 93,700 in births over deaths;
the gain to population "on balance," as a commercial corre¬
spondent words it, was 111,513. Whether this fact has any re¬
lation to the political one previously mentioned we leave to the
economists, physiologists and sociologists to decide among
them. A review of the British iron and steel trade in 1897 takes
account of the competition from the United States, which
jumped from 100,000 tons iu 189li to 500.000 tons last year, but
finds satisfaction in the activity that existed in those lines in
Britain in spite of everything. Prices last year declined con¬
tinuously, the London "Economist's" index figure for December
Slst being 1891 as compared with 1946 a year before. It is sig¬
nificant of the part that Berlin is playing in the finances of the
world, that nearly all the" shares of the gi"eat banks there ad¬
vanced last year. The empire, too, records a growth in trade
and manufactures. Austria-Hungary continues to be financially
and commercially tied up, so to say, by the anti-Semitic agita¬
tion in Vienna, and the deadlock of the two divisions of the em¬
pire on the fiscal agreement and also, it ought not to be forgot¬
ten, by the crops' failures and the floods of last year. The- Ar¬
gentine wheat crop seems to have escaped the locusts after all;
satisfactory progress is being made witli the harvest and the
grain in some provinces is reported to be of superior quality.
It will be interesting to learn whether the last-mentioned fact,
is due to the seed taken from this country- Indian finances con¬
tinue to attract attention and are, as has been pointed out be¬
fore, of particular interest to the United States' silver interest.
There are some who profess to find, most illogically however,
satisfaction in the reported intention of the India Council to
receive gold in London, for rupees to be issued in India. This
is taken to mean that the Council will thereby accumulate the
material with wiiich to put India on a gold basis. This raises
two questions: One, as this proposition is called out by a
stringency putting discounts up to about double the ordinary
rates, is this stringency, with its high rates for money to be kept
up until the Council has gold enough to carry out its plan; and,
two, if that is so, how will commercial and industrial India bene¬
fit by it? A more reasonable conclusion would be that, under
the present currency regulations, the necessary supply of rupees
can only be obtained with gold, but that exports of gold to India
are not looked upon with favor by the Old Lady of Threadneedle
street, hence the expedient of keeping such gold as the emerg¬
ency gives the Council on balance in London until it is dis¬
tributed to meet the Council's obligations. A reform of the cur¬
rency iu a time of commercial distress is an impossibility.
LOOlvING after the rapid transit problem Is something like
being at sea in a sailing ship. The observer turns in at
night everything becalmed, and awakes in the morning to find
himself bowling along with a spanking breeze. Only a week
ago rapid transit had become again merely a lifeless possibility,
and now here we are, due to the cheering promises of Mr, Gould,
apparently at the end of our long and wearisome expectations.
In a double sense the problem has been electrically solved, and
the whole affair wears so ridiculously easy an aspect that the
wonder is we have been so many years at work laboriously con¬
sidering plans. Why did not the Manhattan come earlier to the
relief of the city? That wicked Mr. Sage is'probably to blame.
It is malicious to say, as some people do, that the elevated roads
could never offer the city anything so long as a really adequate
system of' transit, such as the underground plan proposed, was
under consideration; and that, now that the latter is supposed
to be out of the way the Manhattan may talk of electrical power,
extensions to the ferries and so forth, but that these pieces of
patchwork, excellent as they are, do not and never can give New
York the decent facilities it needs. Angry and prophetic citi¬
zens are writing to the papers to say that the underground plan
may he shelved, but it cannot be buried. Sooner or later it must
be carried out. Undoubtedly many things point that way, and
one is the prospect that New York will some day be civilized,
and then decent people will refuse to be packed standing in cai's,
puffing their breath into one another's faces. In the meantime,
as nobody is sensitive about these delicate matters, let ua take
whatever improvements we can get. We trust Itfr. GouM, now
that he has raised our hopes, Will not disappoint us.
WRITING to the "New York Law Journal" a correspond¬
ent, for whom that journal vouches as having had a
large and varied experience in conducting sales of real estate as
referee, doubts whether Supreme Court Rule No. 14, published
in these columns last week, will not have the opposite effect
from tbe one intended and deter people from bidding for prop¬
erty at foreclosure sale. He thinks the diagram required to
accompany the official notice of sale, and the particulars as to
encumbrances, etc., must be absolutely correct; or, in spite of
the saving clause, that an unintentional error shall not inval¬
idate the sale, the courts on application must set the sale aside.
However it may strike the legal mind, tbe idea that a knowledge
of the real state of the facts concerning a particular piece of
property, will deter people from bidding on it, will strike the
practical' real estate man as quite novel. Of course, if the em¬
barrassments are more than the property is worth, the mort¬
gagees will be left to protect tiiemselves aa they best can, but