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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 26, no. 648: August 14, 1880

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Real Estate Record AND BUILDERS^ GUIDE. Vol, XXYI. NEW YORK, SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 1880. No. 648 Published Weekly by CIk Eeal €statB EetorJj S'Ssatiatton. TERMS. ONE VEAJR, in advance___SIO.OO. Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWKET, No. 137 Broadway For the information of owners of . real estate who will now very shortly be called upon by a legally ajipointed Com¬ mittee, charged with selecting the proper locality for the great World's Fair, we print in full to-day the law passed by the Leg¬ islature of our State conferring upon the In¬ ternational Commission extraordinary pow¬ ers. We have expressed no views of our own in regard to the site that ought to be select¬ ed, and yet we have placed ou.r columns at the disposal of those parties interested, who, under their own signatures, desire to detail at length the advantages of particular local¬ ities. In order to judge, however, of the extent, not only of the powers conferred upon the commission, but also of the rights and benefits that may accrue to any par¬ ticular estate entering into any negotia¬ tion or an-angehient with the legally con¬ stituted commission, we print the law in full in its present shape, and thus give food for reflection to those disposed to come to terms with the Committee on Sites. Think of it, ye Pine street brokers, that £200,000,000, or $1,000,000,000, idle capital is now in London awaitiug employment! Does it not take your breath away, while you glance at the numerous diagrams on your desks representing so many " eligible" lots? And yet, indirectly, and in due course of time, a slice of this vast capital will be in¬ vested in or around New York. Already have the leading organs of public opinion in England pointed to these United States for the remunerative employment of this cap¬ ital, and a syndicate of foreign bankers is being formed to invest large blocks of this sum in the securities of leading Western rail¬ roads and also in manufacturing enterprises. The influx of this foreign capital, added to our own vast resources, can only increase the duration of a general prosperity, of which our own city will continue to reap vast ben¬ efits in the future, as much, if not more so. than it has in the past. Only, it will not do to forestall events and scare would-be in¬ vestors by prices not as yet warranted by the situation. Let it be remembered when, next month, the market revives, that fresh capi¬ tal is easiest secured whenever, notwith¬ standing an increased activity, prices are kept at a moderate standard. CAN PERIODICAL DEPRESSIONS IN BUSINESS BE AVERTED? The good old adage, '' to prepare for war in time of peace," has not always been strict¬ ly followed in the past, and the neglect has frequently, it must be acknowledged, result¬ ed to our disadvantage. It is, therefore, a healthy sign of the times when the value of this good old doctrine begins at last to be ap¬ preciated in this modern business world. At the Banker's Convention in Saratoga, while rej)resentatives from all parts of the country gave glo^\'ing accounts of the progress and prosperity of their respective sections, the question, "How to prevent periodical pan¬ ics ?" enlisted widespread attention, though no actual conclusion was arrived at. The discussion of the sub,] eet, however, by men so eminently schooled in practical finance, will lead at a later pei'iod, jierhaps, let us hope, to beneficial results. It was acknowl¬ edged that in this country, more than in others, extremes always meet, that a period of depression is generally followed by one of extraordinary activity, and that the steady middle course in business is an exceptioh and not the rule. The prime cause of these de¬ pressions, of course, was attributed to over¬ trading in good times, and also to the sudden refusal of banks to furnish accommodations whenever panic was at their very dooi's, thus intensifying the situation. In discussing the remedies at hand, allusion was made to the power of the United States Treasury, and the question was asked whether, in an emer¬ gency, the government could not be called upon to prevent widespread disaster. The excellence of the theory was admitted, but how, and in which manner, hampered as the Treasury is by Congress, this last re¬ sort could be made available, was not clearly stated. Neither was it really necessary to give at once a practical plan of operations. Sufficient that the subject has been broached, and there is ample time before the next panic is due for practical men like these bankers to work out this problem. The operations of the Treasury certainly have become an im¬ portant factor in the business of the country since the close of the war, and through the length and breadth of the land the doings of the National Treasury are being felt in the various channels of trade. It does not come witliin our province to discuss the question whether the power thus exercised by the Sec¬ retary of the Treasury, with or without the aid of Congress, is in full accord with the principles underlying our j)olitical institu¬ tions, or whether this influence is salutary to the business interests of the country. The simple fact is, that it exists, and as such it must be acknowledged. It will certainly be of interest to the entire business community to watch and see if the bankers can agree upon some method by which the Treasuiy can be enlisted in a crusade against the re- cui-rence of these periodical panics. Inci¬ dentally, while discussing the possible events of the future, the changed condition of the country in its internal business relations, were strikingly set forth by some of the Western bankers. All will remember how deeply in¬ debted the West was only a few years ago to the East. ISow we are told she is rapidly becoming a creditor instead of a debtor, and New York Exchange occasionally sells at a discount in Chicago and Milwaukee. It be¬ hooves business men generally to watch these various phenomena as they appear one after another. The changes through w^hich the West and the South are constantly pass¬ ing, give them increased weight in councils like the one just held at Saratoga, and if they can be relied upon to aid this community in averting periodical panics with their at¬ tendant disasters, we in New York will only the more rejoice at their increased financial strength and power. -----------<•>----------- Mr. Thomas J. Creamer's lengthy petition for a revision of the tax laws appears to be based upon the supposition that merchants, landlords, " money kings " and citizens gen¬ erally are created simply for the benefit of our city government. The burden of his complaint is, that not enough money is handed in toward defraying the expenses of the government in this city, and that, there¬ fore, the tax laws should be revised. He suggests the appointment of a number of clerks to overhaul the public records and make still further assessments, and then he wants the counsel of the corporation, with some "others"—^no doubt politicians—to prepare a new tax code to be submitted to the Legislature, but all for the purpose of getting more money out of the pockets of the people for the benefit of the city government. Now suppose Mr. Creamer and his colleagues, while talking about the revision of the tax laws, and prattling about equalization of taxes, should start from the modern and just standpoint to reduce taxation,-and to find out some way by which less money can be