crown CU Home > Libraries Home
[x] Close window

Columbia University Libraries Digital Collections: The Real Estate Record

Use your browser's Print function to print these pages.

Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 62, no. 1601: November 19, 1898

Real Estate Record page image for page ldpd_7031148_022_00000841

Text version:

Please note: this text may be incomplete. For more information about this OCR, view About OCR text.
Record and Guide tW ESTABUSHID^ iViBpH Sl"."^ 1863, Dnfrrfl) ID ftyj. EsTAjE.BuLDijfo Apc-irrECTJi^XcMsnfai) Deoo^mmI Bl/SDfesS jufoTHEl^ES OF GEjfcR^V IliTIfifil, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DCLLARS. Published every Saturday. Tblephone, LCorti.andt 1370. CommUD.'cations shonld be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. 1. LINDSEY, Business Manager. "Entered at ihe Post-0.^ ice at New York, A'. Y., as second-class muller." Vol. LXII. NOVEMBER 19, 1898. 1,S01 WHAT will Congress do? is the question now asked bear¬ ing most directlr upon tlie fortunes of the stock mar¬ ket. Left alone, with money cheap and plentiful, the movement ■begun a week or so prior to the elections would continue some¬ time yet. The industrials are active enough to incite specula¬ tion and railroad earnings, especially iu the Northwest encourage the buying of Granger stocks, notwithstanding the high prices to which most of them have been put. Investment purchases at these prices would hardly be judicious, but where .speculative operations are carried on, the manipulator knows all the time he is throwing a ball without knowing exactly ivhere it will come down; he hopes for the best and is willing to take the chances. Bond buying while not so large as it was last week is still quite good and there is still a strong demand for investment issues; the over-subscription of the Southern Pacific 5's the other day fully proved this. Congress generally puts an end to stock market enthusiasm when it meets, though people "WiU never believe that the immediately impending Congress is going to imitate its predecessors, until it has met and disappointed them. According to Mr. Dingley we are to have no revival of tariff discussion in the coming session, which is something to be thankful for, because if there is one thing more disturbing to business in general than another, it is a tariff discussion. Among the measures that will be introduced will be a currency reform bill. The chances for the passage of such a bill are not very clear, but if Congress fails to act upon the question involved it will only leave it where it is now. Some action ought to be taken on the question of pooling by the railroads, but failure in this instance also would not change present conditions. Con¬ gress is more likely to spend its strength in discussing the con¬ duct of the late war and the final settlement that may be made with Spain, than in dealing with the currency and other economic questions that ought to have disposition; but, as has been pointed out already, neglect of these in the present condition of business and the spread of confidence, can be endured. ALONG with the fall in gilt-edged securities in the European markets is a much larger decline in and a neglected con¬ dition of speculative issues. In the London market for instance not a few of these that pay dividends, are quoted at figures that show very large returns on the investment in particular cases as much as 20 per cent. Of course nothing that is certain of making so large a return sells at any such figure, but that any that pay it at all should do so, is a remarkable evidence of tbe lack of public interest in the stock market. Prices of commodi¬ ties have, on the other hand, distinctly advanced, the London "Economist's" index figure for the end of October being the highest seen since March of last year. Among the details the most pronounced movements have been in iron and steel and metals generally. For sometime until recently little has been heard of the Barnato enterprises. The latest news regarding them is not very favorable. The Johannesburg Consolidated In¬ vestment Company, which took in the Barnato Bank three yeara ago amidst a great blowing of the Barney Barnato trumpet has just passed its dividend and the Consolidated Mines Company, organized also to the accompaniment of similar strains has never made any return to its shareholders. It is easy to see now, who were paying for the music. The French Department of Public Works has issued a circular inviting the railroad companies to have a sufficient number of corridor cars of all three clasBes ready in 1900 for all fast and long distance trains during the Exposition, to he composed wholly of such cars. These cars are not very plentiful and in some classes do not exist now, so that compliance with the "invitation" means large expenditures for rolling stock. Berlin is reported to have been a buyer of Span¬ ish exteriors this year sufficient to raise its holding from 50 to 200 million Desetas. It is also reported that French money to still being absorbed at Berlin. A nufober of annual meetings of directors and shareholders of German coal mining, iron and other industrial companies have been held lately. The reports presented at these meetings gave a highly favorable view of the state of the companies in question and in many cases higher dividends were declared. Among the measures in preparation for the coming session of the Reichstag, is a general customs tariff bill. Not much is as yet known about its character, but it is generaly assumed that it will make a considerable advance in duties. It is also stated that the bill will be much more spe¬ cialized than the existing law, containing more than twice as many items. The Vienna Bourse has benefited by the arrange¬ ment with Siemens & Halske for reorganizing the surface tran¬ sit lines, mentioned last week, shares of the existing companies having boomed, but besides this there is little to report from that centre. THB owners and managers of the Manhattan Elevated Rail¬ road have now to learn the moral of a deficiency. There was a time when they had the problem of rapid transit in New York City for solution, hut they would not undertake the taak; now, judging by recent reports of travel on their line, it has been taken ottt of their hands. During the quarter ended September 80th, they collected 3,000,000 less fares than in the corresponding quarter of 1S97. For the year ended on the same day, the total was almost the same as it was for 1889, indicating a serious ret¬ rograde movement in the ten years. All this time the controll¬ ing interests in the Manhattan Elevated Railroad Company, in¬ stead of adapting themselves to the changes of the times, have been stickling for special privileges, that the revelation of the value of carrying franchises in large cities made it utterly Im¬ possible to grant. Whether the earlier and commanding posi¬ tion of the company can be retrieved is very doubtful, though, of course its present position may be improved by a more scientific examination of its circumstances than has hitherto been given it. Be that as it may, it is very significent that in the present phase of the rapid transit discussion the elevated railroads are not considered as an important factor. The lively and enterprising surface railroad companies are satisfactorily disposing of the problem as it relates to short distance travel, and public opinion is turning more and more to underground systems as the only way to supply long distance wants. New Yorkers, while they would doubtless prefer overground travel into the northern sec- ■ tions of their city, if they could get it, which has become an ap¬ parent impossibility, cannot be blind to what is going on else¬ where. They see for instance a perfect network of railroads connecting important parts being built under the feet of the Londoner and with improved methods of propulsion under¬ ground travel made pleasant where it was unpleasant before, because of the use of coal and steam. It is therefore not re¬ markable if they turn from elevated railroads, which have failed them in this important particular, to underground ones for the realization of their hope of rapid transit to the northerly suburbs and the consequent development of the latter. T TT T KILE on the subject of city railroads it la as well to V V point out that the managers of the surface roads, also, sometimes do things that bring them into unpopularity. For in¬ stance, the arbitrary way in which the duplicate sets of under¬ ground trolley tracks are being forced upon Amsterdam avenue is an outrage upon the owners of abutting property and on the residents of that thoroughfare and its vicinage. There Is no reason in the world why the two traction companies that now control surface travel In this ciay, should not do in Amsterdam avenue what they have already agreed to do in Kingsbridge road when lines are laid there, namely, operate jointly over one set of tracks. The property interests that are fighting against the four tracks on Amsterdam avenue have been very badly treated by the traction companies, the Commissioner of Highways, who granted a permit to the Third Avenue Railroad Company to lay the second pair of tracks on the avenue, and by the Mayor, who refused to revoke the permit when asked to do so to enable the complainants to appeal to the courts. The Commissioner and the Mayor were doubtless acting within their privileges, but they ought to understand that in this matter they are exercising the discretion given them by the law against the public for whose protection the powers they possess were created. The Mayor seems to have sympathized with the deputation that waited upon him, because he remarked that he thought four tracks too many for any one avenue, In whieh remark all dis¬ interested people will agree with him; but it is a gr:!at pity that he lacked tho courage to live up to this opinion. T is defence of himself, that if he revoked the permit of the Third i,venue RaU¬ road Company he ought also to revoke that of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, only emphasized his weal.nesB and the difficulty he experienced In excusing himself. For .i lawyer and one who bas sat upon the bench his conduct in thl:^ Instance was