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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 66, no. 1704: November 10, 1900

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November lo, 1900. RECORD AND GUIDE. 613 Dn&pDPRP^EJTMt.BUlLOIffe ^^ITECTURE .^OUSiJlOLD DE0C5(f,-ml Bi/sdfess AifoThemes OF GeHer^L iNitii^si. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Piibltshed every Satvrday. TELEPHONE. CORTLAND 1.170. Communications shonid be addressed to C. W. SWE3ET. 14-16 Vesey Street. J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. •Entered at the Post-Office at Neic York. N. Y., os second-olass matter.-' Vol. LXVI. NOVEMBER 10, 1900. 1704. IF the rest of the business world responds to the political result of this week as Wall Street has done, we shall have a very undesirable boom, and one which cannot by reason of the pace be long lived. But this is not likely to happen. Wall Street has a trick of taking either good or had fortune in large quan¬ tities in short periods, while outside of it either is taken more leisurely. We do not mean to say that a collapse In the stock market is imminent. A buying movement such as that begun last Wednesday is carried along for some time by its own ve¬ locity, and we shall yet see higher prices before its force is spent. The practical guarantee of an administration pledged above all things to encourage business creates confidence in a continuation of steady progress, which gives a new value to many securities in the lower classes, so that they are now sought by Investors where they were neglected before, and broaden the market correspondingly. The activity in other lines noticed in the past week or two is increasing, and altogether the out¬ look is most encouraging. What is to be most sincerely hoped is that the country will maintain its reason and not attempt to go ahead too fast or too far at once. The past, sixteen months have been a period of rest from the high pressure of the pre¬ ceding three years and a new era of activity may be confidently expected. We must all remember, however, tbat we have not immediately back of us four years of dullness, liquidation and unusually restricted consumption as was the case in 1896 and that, tlierefore. the pace for the next four years is not only likely to he, but had better be slower. Of all the features of the present situation, the most encouraging is that capital is begin¬ ning to flow out in normal volume anfl money is to be obtained at fair rates for every kind of enterprise, the high rates of the recent past being due entirely to the caution of loaners who were determined to risk nothing so long as there was a speck of cloud in the political sky that reflected upon currency values. Wall Street is the first to benefit from this change of policy in the money market, but in due time the flow of loanable funds will reach all other centres of business life. As the demand grows the funds available for speculation will lessen and proba¬ bly be the eventual check to the present buying movement, but that is not yet. Looking a little into the near future, the chief characteristic to be discerned is a resumption of that process of trade and industrial combination and consolidation that was so apparent until checked by the political struggle in which it was an issue and from which it has triumphantly emerged. The speculative and investment possibilities offered by the renewal of this process are those that will be most eagerly looked for as affording the best opportunities for the profltable employment of capital. Meanwhile the winter should be more a season of prep¬ aration than of actual operations, which should appear with ap¬ propriate prominence in the spring. ^* HE influence the United States is exerting in the business ^ world at large is illustrated by the sympathetic response made by all the chief exchanges of Europe to the rise in security prices on this side of the Atlantic. This shows how closely our late political contest was watched from afar and the immense issues that hung upon a favorable outcome. The fact that the United States has a credit balance abroad of something in the neigh¬ borhood, and rather more than less, of !f300,000,000, is sufficient to explain the European attitude; for, should it have been neces¬ sary from any cause to suddenly call home any large part of this immense reserve, it would have been followed by disastrous effects abroad in the present condition of the money market there. As it is the newly awakening American demand for bor- rowable funds will cause a continuous drain upon Europe for some time to come and increase the tension which la still ap¬ parent there, probably, also before the close of the year forcing that advance in the Bank of England's discount rate which the bank itself has been working so cleverly, and hitherto so successfully, to avoid. While the speculative position is mo¬ mentarily improved, the European industrial outlook is only slightly benefited by recent events. The great industries, espe¬ cially the textile and metallic, have no present hope of an in¬ crease in demand for their outputs, but they expect to be re¬ lieved somewhat from the pressure of American competition, as larger consumption and flrmer prices attract manufacturers here more to their home markets. At the same time it is felt that American competition has come to stay, though its force may vary with circumstances from time to time, and be stronger in one direction than in another. Thus, British coal producers are relieved to find that the cost of laying down American coal in Europe rather favors their own product just now, but cotton manufacturers see in the yearly increasing consumption of raw cotton on this side of the Atlantic a sign of greater opposition in the great markets for cotton goods—India, China and Japan. However, the immediate anxiety hinges on money, and tbis will continue until the yearly settlements have been provided for at least, if not until they are made. In the interval there are likely to be moments of discomfort to those whose commitments are large and unwieldy. USINESS men all over the country will draw a breath of relief at the decisive victory, which for a second time has been won by the cause of sound money and commercial in¬ tegrity. Is it too much to hope that during the next presidential campaign the normal and wholesome course of business will not be cheeked by a similar attack upon the foundations of an honest and stable financial system? It is a perpetual source of surprise to foreign observers that the United States, which is preeminently a commercial and industrial country, should every four years wage its electoral campaigns upon issues which throw the business of the country into confusion and make its prosperity partly dependent upon the doubtful and fiuctuating chances of the ballot box. During the Cleveland period it was tariff agitation which made manufacturers and merchants uncer¬ tain as to how their business would be affected by the election. During the Bryan period the more serious issue of a sound cur¬ rency took its place. But the tariff issue has now dropped out of sight, and if the foreign market continues to increase in value, we shal! doubtless see the protected manufacturers them¬ selves moving in time for free raw materials. With the tariff issue set aside, there is at all events a good chance that the gold standard will not again be threatened, for Bryan was obviously afraid of the issue during this campaign and would gladly have blotted out part of his earlier record. If it were not for one thing the matter could almost certainly be considered settled, and for this danger the Republicans themselves are responsible. Throughout the whole of the campaign they have forced the prosperity argument to the front, and have, as it were, made the administration responsible for a continuance of good times. But no administration can prevent the prosperity coming to an end.andbeingsucceeded by business depression. If about 1903 such business depression should, from causes which Mr. Mark Hanna cannot control, be prevalent and severe, an agitator like Bryan would have a good opportunity to bang the heads of the Repub¬ licans with the dinner pail, no longer full, of their own making. The only way to get rid of the confusion and loss, which follows from mixing politics with business, is to argue and act as if busi¬ ness stood chiefly upon its own legs—which it does. It can be very much hurt by bad legislative management; but the good management which makes prosperity is the product of American energy and enterprise, and not of Republican administration. VERY probably President McKinley's most difiicult problem during the coming four years will not he China, the Philippines or the War Department, but Cuba. It will undoubt¬ edly require the greatest self-restraint on the part of the Amer¬ ican people and the greatest tact upon the part of the President and his Governor-General to put the re¬ lations between this country and the Cubans upou a basis whereby American interests are secured anfl Cuban ambitions satisfled. There can be no doubt that the Cubans desire a de¬ gree of independence which might become dangerous to Amer¬ ican interests; that they desire, for instance, to retain complete control over their own foreign affairs, and to make American interference in the business of tbe island as unimportant as that of Spain. On the other hand, it is evident that the President believes, and not unjustly, that the interest of the United States in the island, and the sacrifices which we have made on Its be-