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Jantiary 21, 1899.
Record and Guide
ESTABUSHDJ'iK; *W;H2Uil^ 1868.
BtrsDfess Alto Themes cf GEito^ iKrti^l,
PRICE PER TEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS
PublMhcd every Saturday,
TaLEFHOMB, COBTtANDT 1370,
ConununlcAtlonB shonli be addresned to
C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street.
J. 2. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
"Entered at the Post-OSice at New York, N. Y., as second-class matter."
JANUARY 21, 1899.
On the 28th of January we will issue the Index to Volume IXJI
of the Record and Guide, covering the period hettreen July 1st and
December 31st, 189S. Price, $1. 77iis Index in its enlarged
form is now recognised as indispensable to every one engaged or
interested in real estate and building operations. It covers all
transactions—deeds, morlgages, leases, avciion sales, building
plans filed, etc. Orders for the Index should be sent al once
to the office of publieation, 14 and 16 Vesey Street.
DURING the week two interesting interviews upon the situ¬
ation in Wall street have been published, one with C, P.
Huntington and the other with Es-Governor Flower. The flrst
advised caution, the advice being based on a very long and suc¬
cessful business career and the fact, deducible therefrom, that
only three out of any ten years were really prosperous. Mr.
Flower on the other hand was very optimistic and prophesied
much higher prices, based on the cheapness of money and a
belief that the return on securities and the commercial rats?
of interest must reach a parity before the rising movement would
stop. That is to say that people will continue to buy stocks and
bonds so long as they promise a better return on the investment
than can be obtained on notes ahd bills. This is an extreme
view and seems to leave out of the calculation the question of
security for both principal and interest. It needs a parity of
security in the two operations to logically produce the deduc¬
tion that Mr, Flower is reported to have produced. But at the
moment there is little doubt that it is the more enthusiastic of
these two gentlemen who will be followed, because he promises
what people desire most, immediate profit, whilst the other
simply offers security against loss, It will take a couple of years
to decide which advised most soiindly, and this is beyond the
visual range of the crowd. It must be admitted, too, that buy¬
ing is encouraged by something more than bullish talk from
leaders of the movement. A prospect of continued cheap money
is always a bullish factor of large importance. So long as peo¬
ple can make money out of the difference between the interest
on what they can borrow and what they buy with it, so long will
they carry on this operation, even to the point of danger and loss
through the decline in prices of the securities purchased. Be¬
sides this the reports from trade centers seem all to be good.
The iron trade ig said to be discouraging orders, so full are its
books. That this is no merely momentary phase finds support ir.
the reviews of the iron market from abroad. The London
"Economist," for instance, considers that the British manu¬
factories are working to their fullest capacity, and that if the
growth of production is to be continued the United States must
supply the additional quantity. One of the most gratifying fea¬
tures of the situation is the interest that cotton is attracting,
which, if maintained, means a great deal for the southeastern
states and railroads and the latter's securities which have lagged
in the present movement.
AS was anticipated, a measure of ease has come to the Euro¬
pean money markets. This was a natural result of the
January disbursements expressed in the reductions of the Bank
of England and the Continental discount rates. As far as it goes
this is satisfactory, but it must not immediately be taken to in¬
dicate the condition of the money market abroad for any con¬
siderable length of time. The bank discount rates as they now
stand, SVz per cent, in London and 5 per cent. In Berlin for in¬
stance, are oy no means low, contrasting as they do with rates
of 2 per cent, and S'^ per cent, of a year ago; and. although fur¬
ther reductions in the next week or two are possible, we have to
see what the result of the spring demand for funds will be br^-
(ore any assurance of steady low rates can be accepted. The
probabilities point rather In the direction of a rising than a
lowering scale. That there will be an increased decoaad for
money in Germany Is evidenced by a bill now in the Reichstag
to authorize the Reichsbank to increase its capital from 120,-
000,000 to 150,000,000 marks, and its tax free paper issue from
279,000,000 to 400,000,000 marks. The British Chancellor of the
Exchequer will again have a surplus to handle in his next
budget. His estimate last spring was for an infrease of revenue
of £496,000; In the first nine months of the year the increase Is
already £826,500. It is significant of the changing conditions of
the foreign trade of the country that an estimated loss of £718,000
in customs for the year is already exceeded in the nine months,
the actual loss for that period being £823,000. The great oft-
setting gains were in excise, death duties, postal and telegraph
service. The English banks generally express the outcome of
operations last year by substantial increases in dividends, and the
bank clearings for the year make a new and very high record,
French rentes show declines for the year as a result of political
agitation and war scares: bank and the shares of tlie great rail¬
road companies, on the other hand, advanced. Vienna, relieved
in common with other centers of finance by access of money
with the opening of the year, is still depressed by the fear that
there is something unfavorable at work in the diplomatic rela¬
tions between Austria and Germany, and by the miserable un-
certalnity of the final 'outcome of the dispute with Hungary.
From Argentina it is reported that not for many years has the
country had before it such fs-Ir promise of peace and prosperity.
The rapid decline of the gold premium and the corresponding
advance in currency contributes to this proFpect, and is due to
confidence m the promises of the new administration- In favor of
peace, retrenchment and reform.
THE "Army and Navy Journal" takes us to task for saving
that the "supremacy of the military arm" Is the soldier's
ideal. Our contemporary assurps us that this is all wrong, and
complains that we have only a.flippant regard for facts In saying
so. Bless your soul, then what are the facts? We were not
talking mind you of our present corporal's guard of an army, but
of an organization permanently augmented and developed to
the European standard, under the inevitable pressure and en¬
tanglements of the Imnerialistlc policy. "With an army of 25.000
men amid seventy millions the supremacy of the military arm
is truly bevond the dream of anyone. But when our case be¬
comes similar to that of France. Germany and Russia by reason
of our walking In the very path which has forced them to add
battalion to battalion and gun to gun the supremacv of the mili¬
tary arm will be no lonsrer a dream but an actuality. Remem¬
ber, supremacy need not be. In form, political. It Is enough if
military renuirements dominate the nation. Tn the middle age'?
the church dominated society, but the outward form of govern¬
ment was not ecclesiastical. To-day. In this country, finance
and commerce are paramount, and there Is little uncertainty
about their supremacy. We do not assert that the soldier is
more of a tyrant or more grasping than priest, aristocrat ot
merchant. He is made of the same stuff, however. He will act
as they act, and the known history of the world shows beyond
peradventure that the class or the organization that holds power
uses it primarily for Its own advantage and for the furtherance
of its own ends. The logical outcome of ecclesiastical activity Is
the authority of the church. The Inevitable outcome of a domi¬
nant commercialism Is a commercial regime. In increasing our
army and building up our navy to the standard demanded by
Imperialism we are creating conditions which everywhere have
led or are to-day leading to the "supremacy of the military
arm," Those are the facts. Who can look at the appalling mili¬
tarism of armed Europe and doubt It? The question for every
American is: Shall we remain aa we are, or follow Europe? A
nicely balanced midway course is humanly impossible.
ONE of the impossible things of the moment is to obtain a
correct statement of the existing debt of this city and th;
latter's ability to make further issues of bonds for improvements.
It was supposed that the Mayor's message, published last week,
gave this. According to this document it appears that on Jan¬
uary 1. 1S9S, after the technical cobwebs which for political
reasons were spun around the debt last year had been swept away
under pressure of public demand, there .was an adverse balance
of $13,566,875,69. The debts of other constituents of the consoli¬
dation having not only offset New York City's borrowing margin
of $30,000,000 to $40,000,000, but having also created the excess
named- In July la?t new assessments having been established
in Manhattan and the Bronx, a liorrowlng power of $6,928,113,30
was created and, as we understand the figures, reduced the ex¬
cess to $6,638,762.49. The debt Issues of 189S amounts to $30,-
164,906.91. These Issues, however, did not increase the escess,
havinff been made to provide for the Ugiuidatlon oJ Habllltlea