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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 62, no. 1602: November 26, 1898

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November 26, 1898. Record and Guide ?83 11. ESTABIiSHED^ ftWpa2m'^ 1868. Oci^Tiii ]D R:EJj.EswE.BuiLDijfo ftpcrfnrcTaREXousE«ouiDEanfiic4 BasiftessArio Themes Of GEjtoyXiKToipi, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TKLETHONF, LCOaTLAMDT 1370. Commun.'cations should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Tesey Street. /. 7. LINDSET, Business Manager. "Entered at the Post-OSii'e at Xew York, y. r., as second-class matter." Vol. LXII. NOVEMBER 26, 1S98. 1,602 SIGNS of a change of view, chiefly apparent in the irregu¬ larities which prices display, are coming over Wall street. It must doubtless occur to many that while high quotatious are maintained, the ability to make further advances does not appear to exist, except in special cases where there has been little or no participation in the recent upward movement, and where dis¬ closures of new facts logicaly call for better prices. Money is made in the stock market by either long or short operations. Tbe flrst are the movements brought about by a change of con¬ fidence, which, witb reactions, extend over a considerable period, and produce the greatest dfCerence between quotations. The second consist of taking quick advantage of changes in senti¬ ment and the rallies produced by the laws of speculation. The question arises to-day whether we have not just seen the con¬ clusion of a long movement. Certainly, quotations themselves support that idea. The advances lately seen may be called the Sound Money advance, which has been not only of long dura¬ tion but of unusual extent, having in many instances more than doubled values. Tbe lowest prices were seen Just prior to the Bryan Madison Square meeting and the highest only a few days ago. What the swing has been in this interval of nearly two years and a half these quotations for some prominent stocks will show: Burlington 59-120, Atchison preferred 14-47, St. Paul 60-113, Rock Island 49-109, Delaware and Hudson 114-99, Lack- awana 138-143, Erie first preferred 27-37, Louisville and Nash¬ ville 37-62, Missouri Pacific 15-36 and Omaha 30-87. These quo¬ tations show, in spite of the lagging of the coalers, an increase of values of such large proportions as to make not only further general advance very problematical indeed, but to suggest that, real values considered, reactions are much more likely. FINANCING for an extended industrial movement puts a great strain on the Imperial Bank of Germany, a fact that, though more than usually apparent to-day, has been demon¬ strated before. The bank has fiduciary powers to issue notes to the extent of about $62,500,000, excesses of that amount have to be covered by cash in certain prescribed forms. To give elas¬ ticity to this circulation, the bank may make further issues on paying interest at the rate of 5 per cent, per annum to the Gov¬ ernment. Until 1880, the tax-free limit was not exceeded, and in the following eight years, seldom and in small amount. Tbe consequences of the Baring failure to Berlin, in 1890, made a taxable issue of $26,000,000 necessary, to be followed by a small one in 1893. Since 1895, these issues have been frequent and seem to grow necessary within more limited periods as time goes on. This year alone there have been a dozen such issues, varying from $5,000,000 to $70,000,000. From this it is argued that the bank should increase its capital and be allowed to enlarge its tax-free circulaton. Without direct information to the contrary, the system appears to be a good one from the business public's point of view, the bank having power to meet emergencies, but under restrictions that forbid its abuse. This is the period when national trade returns have prominence in the statistical jour¬ nals and furnish interesting indications of the trend of com¬ merce between the different countries. Among other things, tbey show that the trade between tbe United States and Great Britain is beginning to have more balance than bas been the case for a couple of years. For instance, in the flrst six months of tbis year, our exports to Great Britain exceeded those of tbe same time in 1897 by more than $50,000,000 and our imports thence declined about $30,000,000 in the same period. The values of our exports and imports for the three months to Sept. 30 in the two years, however, differed only slightly. The over-sea trade of India, too, demonstrates a highly satisfactory tendency to revive. The "Temps," in commenting on the colonial trade of France, utters a note of warning to the colonial and national party on th© danger of provoking conflicts with foreign countries in their eagerness for colonial extenslou and protection. The fact oannot be disguised, that journal remarks, that foreign countries are the essential markets for French trade. In 1897, England took 1,135 milion francs ($227,000,000) of French exports; Belgium, 513 milions $102,600,000); Germany, 380 millions ($76,000,000). From those flgures one may judge of tbe Imprudence of a Cus¬ toms policy that would compromise those markets, and which under the pretext of a colonial compact would imperil the re¬ lations of France with other Powers and the future of her col¬ onies. In Berlin, the consolidation of tbe electrical companies and the success of various industrial enterprises, evidenced by annual reports and increased dividends, and in Vienna the con¬ solidation of the surface traveling lines, are the matters that give life to the bourses iu those several centers. Tbe Pekln Syndicate, who are to develop the Shansi concession, had a meet¬ ing, recently, at which they were entertained by a letter from no less a personage than Li Hung Chang, addressed to Lord Roths¬ child, on the value of the privilege secured to them, in which he said; "It is indeed a relief to turn from the many schemes for the political exploitation of China to consider one purely indus¬ trial and devoted to the arts of peace. The Ministers of the Tsung-li-Yamen hope that this first experiment to encourage the profltable investment of foreign capital in the interior of China will realize tbeir expectations of benefit to Government and peo¬ ple, and to help provide the 'open door' of which we hear so much and see so little. The two.contracts made with your Syn¬ dicate, after much conservative opposition, apply to a large and continuous area of rich mineral lands in the province of Shansi on the west, and Houan on the south, of the Metropolitian Province of Chihli, with rights to construct branch railways to connect mines with main lines and river navigation in adjoining provinces. For abundance of coal and iron in close proximity to each other, tbere is no other part of China—and few parts of the world, experts say—to compare in importance with the region now opened to the Syndicate; petroleum has been discovered, and the Syndicate may work that wherever found in or near their concession. With cheap and plentiful iron an'd coal the Syndicate can establish iron works on the spot to supply the enormous demand for manufactured iron and steel in every form required by China now and as she progresses. The extensive area assigned to the Syndicate will in tbe near future be ex¬ tended in the province of Honan, South of the Yellow River, as soon as the Syndicate has proved its capability.'' ANYTHING partaking of sharp practice or partisanship in connection with the proposed new building code is to be deprecated in the interests of property owners and of the build¬ ing trades. If there is anything that ought to be the subject of calm and cool deliberation it is surely so technical a matter as the formulation of the rules and regulation that shall control construction. It is on that account, too, that it would be prefer¬ able to have a commission of small dimensions, whose functions should be judicial rather than constructive. A large commission composed of what are called differing interests, but really of faddists, each only interested in securing the adoption of his particular fad, wouuld be the commission that would do tl;e most injury and the least good. What is wanted in the members of tbis commission is tbat they should each be able to overlook the whole field, consider dispassionately and act impartially upon suggestions made to them for the amendment of the law; and not a collection of advocates endowed with judicial powers. We saw the absolute impossibility of securing a rational reform of the building laws through what was an average representative body, in the Committee on Revision of the Building Laws, who spent a year and considerable money in accomplishing actually nothing. Unless the commission who are to draft a building code for tbis City, under the provisions of the Charter, is of cl'.e judicial character we have indicated as necessary to successful work, unless they can terminate discussion in their discretion ■and act capably upon the facts and suggestions made to them, we may poiripone hope of a building code for a long time to com-\ Ee the work ever so expeditiously done, it will take a long time. The Cbartci- has been in force for ten months, and so far tnis matter has only reached the point of an apparent agreement between the two chambers of tbe Municipal Assembly on che g-eneral composition of the commission. Supposing this appear¬ ance is true, the commission will have to be named and the sev¬ eral individuals so named approved by the Council aud the Board of Aldermen. When so approved, the commission can con¬ vene and arrange their work. Only those who have seen pre¬ vious efforts to amend tbe building laws know what tbat work is likely to be; the mass of evidence that will have to be taken and tbe numerical importance at least of the suggestions that will have to be received,from those of the practical engineer who wants the thickness of walls and the factor of safety reduced, to the im¬ practical theorists who want builders to buy land and leave it