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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 47, no. 1203: April 4, 1891

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AprU 4, 1891 Record and Guide. 509 ^5>- ^ ESTABUSHED-^IWRpHSl'-i^iaeS.^ DEvfe-jED TO J^EA.L Estate . SuiLoif/o Aji,cKiTECTui^E .HouseiJolii DZ0Wf.TVM, BUsit/ESS Atto Themes of Qifii^i 1;jt£!\est iilil. PRICE, PER TEAR IIV ADrAIV€E, SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. Telephone, . . . Cobtlandt 1370. Conunimicatlons sbould be addressed to C.W. SWEET, 191 Broadway J. T. LINDSEY, Btisiness Manageir. Vol, XLVII APRIL 4, 1891. No. 1,203 NOTICE OF REMOVAL. The offices of The Rec!oro and Guide will be removed to Nos. 14 and 16 Vesey street, over The Mechanics' and Traders' Exchange, on May 1st. rpHERE is something sublime in tlie courage and persistence of ,J- believers in railway securities who are now and have been for two years large borrowers of money to enable them to carry their fancies. "While it is notijossible to buy what might be termed ffilt-edge, full-grown bonds, that is to say, bonds of old companies, so as to receive a greater return than say 4 to 4^ per cent, yet for years money could be loaned on time on securities of equal intrinsic value at 6 per cent, and in very many cases the borrower has been forced to pay the interest in advance by way of discount. Now, taking into consideration the number of tinies in the last two years when large premiums have been exacted in addition, it will be seen that it has altogether beeu a harvest period for the bilious and dyspeptic money-lender, while the liope- ful, optimistic believer in the country and its growth bas been pass¬ ing through "the valley of the shadow.-' Leaving out the shrinkage in market value of his collateral and the amount of capital he bas been compelled to use by way of margin, the borrower has been paying out perhaps twice as much by way of compound interest and com¬ missions as he has received by way of income from his securities. So he has been out both ways. Instead of an advance m price to compensate him for the greater amount he was paying to the money-lender than that received from the coupons, he has had to contend with a shrinking in mai'ket value, to be made good by the deposifc of additional margins. As it is clear that the low prices at which many new issues of railroad bonds can be bought IS due to the tiring oufc of speculative holders, it would seem to be an opportunity to pick up tbe bargains this exhaustion offers. And this exhaustion accounts for the anomaly of undoubtedly good bonds selling for mucb lower pnces than bonds not so good or uo better intrinsically, but practi¬ cally absorbed by investors and consequently not being pressed on the market for sale. To illustrate : the C. C. C. & St. L 4's sold April 2d for 94, and the same day the Peoria & Eastern 4's, interest guaranteed by the C. C. C. & St. L., sold at 75, tbe latter bond being intrinsically as good as tbe former. The price of these two bonds may be expected to steadily approximate until in the near future It IS quite likely that the Peoria bond will sell higher than the bond of tbe guaranteeing company. It is obvious, therefore, that safe railroad bonds, whose only crime IS youth, or that they have hitherto been held by speculators, are cheap at ruling figures. Ifc would seem fchafc a turn is close at hand and while for two years it bas been vastly more profitable to lend on railroad securities than to own them prices have reached a point where a much larger return can be realized by the purchase of good low-priced bonds than by lending against them even at the lull legal rate. rriHE English stock market continues as dull as does tbat of Wall ■^ street, and prophets of good times to come are getting a little discouraged, A depressing influence is being exerted by the returns of the Scotch railway companies. It was well known that the strike of the employes and fche blowing out of the furnaces for so many montbs would mate tbeu- earnings contract largely, but the actual shrinkage has been even greater fchan was anticipated. The net revenue of the North British Com- *?.Tnnn 'T^'^^ '^""''^ *^^ ^«^o°^ " ^^'^ ^^ 1890 over 1550,000 while that of the Caledonian is more than $450,000 theBtualler This means a reduction of ly. per cent in one case and 6)4 m the other. Prices have steadily recovered in Paris since the collapse of the Societe des Depots, The many failures of fraud¬ ulent private banks bas led to a discussion as to the expediency of suppressing them entirely, and prosecuting tbe journals which insert their advertisements; but the discussion has thus far led to no definite action. Tbe govemment intervention in the matter of the above-mentioned failure has started some criticism, to meet which the authorities have annouuced their intention of introducing a bill to require banks to employ tbek deposits at call or at short dates in commercial bills discountable at the Bank of France, or in loans on those public securities on which the Bank of France makes advances. The debate on the new Customs Tariff bill has been begun and the opposition to many of its provisions is daily growing stronger. French foreign trade improved during February, and the net result of the t^vo montbs is a decided advance over the same months in 1890. The Berlin market does not improve, and it is sfcated that any furtber bad news from Buenos Ayres would cause a stampede (o sell Argentine securities, wbich might result mosfc seriously. Italy, it appears, has been veiy imprudent in the issue of loans, and while there is no fear that the country, as a whole, will not meet its engagements, the price she will bave to pay for solvency wiU be heavy and depressing. In Vienna, ifc is reported that the present excellent condition of the Hungai-ian exchequer will lead the financeminister of that country lo make strenuous efforts to convince his Austrian colleagues of the advisability of returning to specie payments. ----------■---------- A BILL has been introduced into tbe Senate, at the instance. -^^^ we presume, of Comptroller Myers, to place the searching for unpaid taxes, assessmenfcs and water rents in the bands of fche Finance Deparfcment. A measure similar to tbis was introduced at the last session of the Legislature, and rightly failed of passage. The present bill is less objectionable tban that of last year; but is still both unsatisfactory and unnecessary. It is unsatisfactory because it provides for tbe appointment of tliree searchers, who, since they are to be under heavy bonds, will doubtless receive fat salaries, to perform a service that one clerk is quite sufficient to accomplish, and because it allows ten days for makiog a search, which, if the records are properly indexed, ought not to take ten minutes. This is altogether incomprehensible, because it is also provided in tbe bill that these records of unpaid taxes, assessments and water rents are to be indexed according to the block system, and a search under this system would mean simply an inspection of the appropriate block number, under which could be seen at a glance what city liens there were against fcbe properfcy. The bill is imnecessary, because another meastu-e, introduced by Senator Stew¬ art, proposes to accomplish tbe same end. This measure, to which we bave already referred, is of far wider scope and of far greater importance. It has for its purpose the indexing of records, not only of tbe Finance Department, but of fche Register's and County Clerk's office. Thafc all of this work should be undertaken by one set of men with definite aims in view aud clear notions of what they are aboufc, must be patent to everybody; and for this reason, if for no other, the bili of tbe Comptroller should nofc be forced tlirough, but all wbo are friendly to it should unite in endeavoring to pass the more comprehensive and important legislation. The Real Estate Exchange should do its utmost to secure favorable action on this measure. 1~VURING fche past week a new element has been introduced into -*--' tbe discussiou ranging around the site for tbe new municipal building. The increasing commercial importance of fcbat part of the city north of I4th street, relative to the older sec¬ tions, has suggested to some the notion that the City Hall should follow this movement of population and business. The zeal which the Herald bas exhibited in advocating this solution is readily explicable, because tbat paper itself proposes to march northward ; and why should it not take the City Hall in its train? It is undoubtedly to the advantage of tbe city tbafc the reporters of tbat journal should have ample oppor¬ tunity to keep their eagle eyes on the workings of our municipal depai-tments ; but there are other considerations which enter into tbe matter. If tbe new building is intended to meet the require¬ ments of the future as well as the present the fact .should not be neglected that before many years are passed tbe City of New York will include Brooklyn, Richmond and Westchesfcer Counties. In so far as Westchesfcer is concerned the argument iu favor of an up-town site would be strengthened; but the presest City Hall Park is far more accessible from all points in Richmond Couuty and mosfc points in Brooklyn tban would be a site between 14th and 42d streets. Furthermore, it must be remembered fchat although, without doubt, a larger amount of business is transacted north of 14th street now tban for¬ merly, Wall street, north and south, remains and will continue to remain the business centre. At the preseut moment fche shiffcingof tbe location of our municipal offices three miles furtber north would cause immense inconvenience, aud though the amount of this inconvenience would tend to diminish, still there can be little doubt that City Hall Park will continue to be more accessible fco the majority of people needing to visit the " Mayor and fche corporation " tban would any spot nearer the site of the new Herald building. And lastly, the question of cost is one which must be considered even in