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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 41, no. 1050: April 28, 1888

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April 28, 1888 Record and Guide. 623 De/ojeO P J^l Estate , BuiLDif/o AficKiTEtrruKE ,Housei(olii DEBORATiotJ. BifsifJESs Mb Themes of GeiJeraL 1;jt£i\est >\ P5TABUSHED-W1 1868. PRICE, PER VEAR IIV ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, - . - JOHN 370. Communications should be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager, Vol. XLI. APRIL 28, 1888. No. 1,050 To insureprompt compliance to their request, subscribers ordering their address changed must be careful to send us the old address as ■well as the new one. ---------•——— The stock market is booming. Everything on the list is going up and the speculators are Iiaving a carnival. This has been due to the policy of the administi-ation in spending the surplus on bond purchases. It seems the Treasury has determined to wipe ■out from sixty to eighty million of tbe public debt, and that 'without ■withdrawing tlie sixty million of government money uow in the -bank vaults, free of interest. Of com-se the canceling of govern¬ ment bonds sets free just as much money, wliich must be reinvested in other securities. Tliis stimulates the buying of raih-oad bonds :and the better class of stocks. The whole list of speculative prop- lerties are, under the circumstances, a purcliase. Then there are other things wliich help. Check to railroad and house building, as w^ell as to manufacturing, because of the tariff debate, puts a stop to the outflow of money into industrial enterprises, and as a conse¬ quence funds accumulate in the money centres of the country. The money reserve tn om- national banks is more than double what it was this time last year, and the accumulations are getting larger week by week. There is a plethora .of money in Europe also, and the rates of interest are steadily cheapening. Then the reduction in the interest on the British Consols is displacing capital aud forc¬ ing even conservative investors to take their chances in the general securities market. All these influences help speculation in the New York Stock Exchange, so we will probably see liigher prices for some little time to come. Generally an advance in stock values is regarded as a good omen for the trade of the country, but we think the policy of our gov¬ ernment is a mistaken one. The administi-ation is making a "coruer" ou tlie securities held by rich corporations and milhou- aires. It is giving a present of the government mouey to the exceptionally wealthy class who own government securities aud railway bonds, aud it thus leads to unwholesome speculation in all manner of corporate wild cats. Real estate, it will be noticed, is dull and very slow of sale. EuUders are not happy, for they get no uew orders aud find it almost imiiossible to sell the houses they have on hand. Manufacturers are curtailing their productions and the u-on and metal trade is stagnant. How different affairs vv ould have beeu if the surplus iu the Ti-easury was used productively. That is, if it had beeu spent on public buildings which are so much needed in all parta of the Uuiou ; on river aud harbor improvements, sea-coast defenses, and the rehabiUtation of our merchant marine. This way of spending our money would have started up our iron mills, given life to our dock-yards, added to our foreign commerce, and fur¬ nished employment to hundi'eds of thousands of workingmen in improving our waterways aud tbe liarbors along our coasts aud the lakes. But uo, the administration dehberately stai-ts a fresh specu¬ lation in Wall street, and helps the classes without respect to the maaseg out of the public Treasury, Both political parties are makmg shocking bad records for them¬ selves. In this State the Democrats bave struck hands with the hquor interest. They favor free trade in rum selling and will not vote to charge anything against the saloons which cost our citizens so much in the way of almshouses, prisons and hospitals. Tlien the Democrats are unanimously opposing the election la'w reform which would tend so much to purify our political contests. The Republi¬ cans seem to be unable to take advantage of the mistakes of theu- opponents. PracticaUy they favor our present objectionable tariff which fosters private monopolies aud lays unnecessary bm'deus upou all who consume manufactui-ed goods. As a party they do not take ground in favor of spending the public money for public objects, such as river and harbor improvements, the creation of a navy and a merchant marine. Government paternalism is justi¬ fiable if the eud sought is the advantage of the community. But the Repubhcans favor the use of the government to foster private corporate interests at the expense of the community. Both parties are hopelessly wrong on the question of civil service reform. The Democrats have forced Presideut Cleveland to abandon the position he took during the flrst two years of his administration, wliile the Republicans have giveu uo guarantee that should they get into power they would not hand over the spoils to their retainers. The political outlook is anytliing but reassuring. The Dominion of Canada will spend this year a million and a half of dollars for sea-coasfc defenses. This is equivalent to about twenty - two million dollars should the United States make corresponding expenditure for a similar object. Canada is also to expend ^ three million dollars for improving its rivers aud harbors, equal to nearly fifty million of dollars if similai- work was done in the United States, Yet here we are afraid to appropriate less thau twenty million dollara for river aud harbor improvements, when the government engineers say that it would be wise to spend one hundred aud sixty million per annum for several years to come. Such an expenditure would repay us fiftyfold in gi'ving us facihties for transacting the internal and external commerce of the country. But our provincial New York press, wliOe clamoring for money to deepen Buttermilk Channel as well as the water in oui- lower harbor, keeps up its captious criticism of some of the minor details ofthe river and harbor bill. Yet the editors know that the appropriations are as ridiculoualy inad¬ equate for the whole country as they are for New York harbor. We ought to spend at least six million a year hereabouts instead of tbe eight hundred thousau'^l which is the limit of the present river and harbor bill. Not a word is said in condemnation of the bonus given by government to the rich by bond purchases, nor is attention called to the swindling pension bill, appropriating some eighty miUion more dollars for the benefit of claim agenta aud bounty'' jumping " frauds. By the eud of the next year we wiU have spent some nine hundred million dollars on pensions, more than one-half of which is down¬ right waste and robbery. —_—-a---------- The news from the winter wheat fields is very bad. The prospect is that we will have uot more thau half the usual yield. Wheat is up seven cents a bushel and our exports have almost stopped. But although the spring is late the least promising winter wheat fields can be ploughed up and replanted with spring seeds. Then opera¬ tors remember that we were wholly deceived as to the cotton yield of last year. Even after the crop was gathered, the government statistician estimated it at less than 6,400,000 bales. Tins led to a bull movement and a great deal of cotton was unloaded on foreign and domestic spinners and speculators at from oue to two ceuts a pound more than it was worth ; for it now tui-us out we wiU have nearly 7,000,000 bales of last year's crop. Ellison, the famous EngUsh expert, is certain it -will not be less than 6,900,000 bales. This difference between 500,000 and 600,000 bales means that we are better off by between $25,000,000 aud $30,000,000 more than we supposed we were at the beginniug of tiiis year. We may have the same story to teU of the wheat crop tlus year. The recommendations made by the Real Estate Exchange Committee respecting rapid transit contain some good points. They favor the original cable scheme, which proposed to give our citizens a swifter means of surface transit than borsecars; alao transverse and cross-town roads, as well as one fare from auy oue part of the city to any other part. Our local press opposed and ridiculed this cable system which, if adopted, would liave been a great convenience and saving of time to oui- citizens. Of course auy company which secured tliis valuable pri-rilege should pay a good share of its gross receipts into the city ti-easm-y. The com¬ mittee is also quite right in saying that rapid ti-ansit in this city requires four tracks, two for express trains and two for frequent stops. Their objection to undergi-ound roads with opeu cuts is well taken. They should also oppose any dark tunnel road as objection¬ able on the score of health and comfort. They might have gone farther and favored the Aarcade road under Broadway as weU as the further utihzing of om- elevated road system. The latter should be extended to our principal ferries, and express trains should be provided for on our 2d, 3d and Gth avenuea, -----—•---------- ~ The Panama Canal enterprise seems to have taken a new lease of life in France. The government will authorize the lottery loan to raise money, and the funds needed to complete the work will be forthcoming. We have always believed that this canal would be constructed, notwithstanding the discouraging statements iu regard to it which have appeared in the American press. Undoubtedly the canal will cost an enormous sum of money, far more than the orig¬ inal estimates, but this is geuerally tlie case with all engineering enterprises. The English press was quite as bitterly opposed to the Suez Caual as has been the American press to the Panama Canal. But De Leasepa will succeed in the second enterprise as he did in the first. Jay Gould doubtless thought that he made a good point upon the dissatisfied holders of the M. T. and R. securities when he proved from the books that the proposed new board of directors owned