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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 65, no. 1684: June 23, 1900

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Juno 23, 1900. RECORD AND GUIDE. 1085 Bifsnfess AitoTHEHES Of GeSeR^L IffTERf si, PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Puljlislied evert! Baturday. Telephone, Cortlanut 1370. ■Coromunications should be addressed to C. W. SWEBT, 14-16 Ve«er Street. /. T. LINDSEY. Business Manager. "Entered at (fie Post-Office ai ^'cw York. N. 7.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXV. JUNE 23, 1900. No. 1684. IF the movement of prices depended upon the feeling of Wall Street alone, it would be safe to look for much lower quota¬ tions. In fact there tbe only bullish point is the paradoxical one tbat everyone is so bearish. But Wall Street opinion is made largely by brokers and the judgments of these are determined almost wholly by their commission accounts. "It's like Sunday," tbey say day after day, because their offices are empty of custom¬ ers, and the ticker ticks in vain; but changes in this respect come very suddenly; there is very little pause between the mo¬ ment of extreme dullness and that of renewed activity. As everything blue in the situation has been used to the utmost it -would not be surprising if a change should now soon come. Some thought that the nomination of President McKinley for re¬ election ought to have immediately started a big buying move¬ ment, but in doing so they overlooked the fact that this nomina¬ tion was a long foregone conclusion and the strength that the association of Governor Roosevelt with the President lends to ■the ticket is not of the character to move opinion in financial ■circles. The sound money and currency principles for which Pres¬ ident McKinley stands in his character of political entity, and -which touch the financial world most nearly, were assured by the last election and the passage of the currency act this year. Moreover, there was confidence that the policy of the present ad¬ ministration would have been endorsed at the polls next No¬ vember, whoever might be tbe choice for the second office, and that the selection of a man with a war record only makes the sure surer. For weeks past the Stock Market has been infiu- enced by discouraging crop reports, tbe cutting of the prices of commodities, gold exports associated with European financial troubles, political dangers in the Far East and otber gloomy indications. The resulting decline has been continuous and considerable enough to make it a serious question whether it "has not discounted, at least for the time being, all these bad fea¬ tures so far as they directly affect ourselves. Moreover business £ives some signs of adapting itself to the readjustment of prices, money is phenomenally cheap and in another week the prospect ■of large disbursements for interest and dividend payments will be having effect. If nothing more, the conditions should cer¬ tainly suggest this question to the buyer. Are there not stocks and bonds on the list whose prospects make them such that I "would be willing to carry them even with the possibility of iurther decline? TALK of lower rates of interest on realty loans has been heard again this week through the reported offer of some money at 2V2%, or 14% below the regular rate for the best loans in this class. Loan brokei-s do uot attach any importance to these reports,- and so far as the general run of the mortgage business is concerned there is no early prospect of easier conditions than those that prevail to-day. But there is ground for believing that money is pushing into realty in a way that promises a change of the interest scale in the course of a reasonable time. Not only was the circulation of the report of this week based upon fair grounds, but the statement made by a prominent architect in another column of this issue, that he knew of money placed on real estate mortgages at 3i,4% and less, ought to show the way money is tvorking to favor rea! estate investments. This state¬ ment just referred to may seem strange in view of the fact that the records of mortgages do not support it, hut it is almost un¬ necessary to point out that by meaus of rebates the actual rate of interest may be less than that recorded and that where a loaner was making an exceptional rate in order to secure a particularly good loan, he would be likely to resort to this plan in order not to prejudice himself in the negotiation of other business. However, wherever the new low rate has been made, it may be talten for granted that the loan was of such an excep¬ tionally high class that it made the investment equal to any¬ thing that the whole market afforded. The general encourage¬ ment to be obtained from these reports is that the lowering ten¬ dency of interest rates on realty that began distinctly to sbow itself some years ago is still operating to offset in some de¬ gree highei'' taxation and increased cost of construction. Tbe present position of the money market is put in a nutshell in the statement of A. W. McLaughlin & Co., given in our news pages. ------------•----------- Germany and South America. JEGINNING With the speech of Secretary Root some time ago, and culminating in the more specific assertions of Senator Lodge ten days later, we have had recently a very lively discussion of the prospects of the Monroe doctrine and the re¬ lation thereto of German expansion in South America. These gentlemen have come in for a good deal of abuse and some rid¬ icule for the stand they have taken; but their opponents have not succeeded in showing anything more than that the danger indicated is not pressing, and that the present moment is not a very opportune time to raise the discussion. We can well be¬ lieve that Republican politicians at the beginning of a campaign in which the German vote will hold the balance in many West¬ ern States, would dowell not to insist too stronglyon the chances that the United States and Germany will come eventually into conflict in South America, but the prohibition does not extend to people who are not practical politicians, and there can be no doubt that Messrs. Root and Lodge have put their finger upon the chief peril, which so far as can be foreseen just now eon- fronts our traditional policy of America for the Americans. Their warning may be conveniently reduced to the following three propositions: (1) The Monroe doctrine in its traditional form cannot be maintained unless we are prepared to fight for its maintenance; (2) Imperial Germany is the power which more than any other is likely to question the application of that pol¬ icy to South America; (3) In the enlargement of our navy we must above all keep in mind this danger, and we must plan to increase our fleet at least as fast as Germany is planning to in¬ crease her fleet. It is not difficult to find cogent reasons in support of each of these propositions. During the last quarter of the 19th century an important change has taken place in the political interests and programs of the leading European powers. Until the close of the Franco- Prussian war none of these powers, except, perhaps, England, was at all satisfied with the politieal condition of Europe itself; and the whole direction of their policies was determined by as¬ pirations towards national unity, or by the supposed need of some redistribution of their respective frontiers. But after Ger¬ man and Italian unity were accomplished facts, a number of the most important powers made the preservation of the status quo the corner-stone of their policies, France was, of course, more than ever dissatisfied; and Russia and Austria had confiicting interests in the near East; but Prance was powerless, and Rus¬ sia, after the Turco-Russian war, content for the time being to advance along the line of the least resistance in the desire for expansion. The different powers, one by one, turned in the direc¬ tion which England and Russia, each in her own way, had been so steadily and so successfully pursuing. They began to seek for colonies close at hand, if possible, but if necessary in any part of any continent not already pre-empted by some rival power. The progress was at first slow, but more recently the pace has been accelerated until at the present time the partition of Asia is following hard upon the practically completed par¬ tition of Africa. The exigencies and interests of colonial pol¬ icy are now dominant in European politics and are at the bottom of the general hatred of that power whose successful Im¬ perialism has left so few of the fruitful places of the earth for her continental successors, imitators and rivals. Indeed, this is but half the story. Forced at once by the negative need of self-protec¬ tion and by the positive demands of the most complete industrial economy, the modern civilized powers are destined irresistibly to occupy all the productive places on the earth's surface, and by means of orderly government and the most improved methods to turn these places to the utmost account. The movement is universal and knows no impediment of climate or distance. Quicker means of transit and modern inventive genius have made the words "inaccessible" and "remote" relatively meaning¬ less. For commercial, aud in a sense for political purposes, Rio Janeiro is at present as near to Berlin as Hamburg was to iMunich in the 18th century; and we have not begun to see as yet what may result in the way of vast political and industrial combinations. In view of the fact that this tendency has such force and com¬ pass, is it not absurd to suppose that in the long run it will fail