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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 67, no. 1714: January 19, 1901

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RECORD AND GUIDE. ESTASUSHEDt^ MA^CHSl'A 1B58. DEvbllD p Ru^L EIsTAiE.BuiLOifJG A,RalrrEeTui^E,HousEH0U)DEGfflifllDl^ BusiiJess Alto Themes of GeiJeraL IffTO^si. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS. Published every Saturday. TELEPHONE, COSTLANDT I370. Communications sliould be addressed to C. "W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street. /. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager. -Entard at the post-Of{icv al New Yurh, N. Y., as second-class malt r." Vol. LXVII. JANUARY 19, 1901. No. 1714. The Index lo Volume LXVI of the Record and Guide, covering the period between July ist and December 31st, igoo, will be ready for delivery January 26lh, Price, $1. This Index in its enlarged form is now recognised as indispensable lo every one engaged or interested in real estate and building operations. It covers all transactions- deeds, mortgages, leases^ auction sales, building plans tiled, etc. Or¬ ders for ihe Index should be sent at-once to the oMce of publication, 14 and 16 Vesey Sirect. • OF the. dozen reasons for this week's decline in the stock market, the least is said of tiie most potent one—over- speculation. This has undouhtedly been very great; the public in the later stages of the hull movement bought with their old- time abandon on any sort of a report relating to any issue. Quo¬ tations have now to undergo the reducing process that will bring them more into line with values, likely to be a long one and may endure until the approach of the next important dividend pe¬ riod, say March or April, with, of course, the usual rallies from time to time as the. market becomes temporarily over-sold. In any estimate of the extent of the reaction that must ensue, Rail¬ roads and Industrials must be separately considered. The con¬ dition of general business and the events of the past ten or fif¬ teen years tend to give a value to railroad securities In this country that they never had before. Not only do the great sys¬ tems dominate certain sections, but the growth of the influencc- ol: the banker in their management is a guarantee of the removal of friction where any may possibly exist. The railroads are no longer a field of conflict among individuals for power as they were a generation ago, but so strong is tbe policy of the system that the individual no longer contemplates the building of a competing line with which his name shall be identified, and' nearly all the railroad huilding is now done by the system it¬ self in developing its own plant and increasing its hold upon the territory it, by tacit consent of the other systems, is allowed to develop. This naturally gives a larger present and prospective value to railroad securities than they ever have had before. In the Industrials the contrary is the case. The ambition of indi¬ viduals to attain pre-eminence is still to the front, and there are signs that the iron and steel interests are to fight a battle sim¬ ilar to that fought a generation ago by railroad interests, and this is a disturbing factor, and one that will not permit the se¬ curities predicated on those interests attaining that investment value that they would if there were assurances of harmony. It is a great pity that the facts should be what they are, because every one admits that there is a profitable business in sight for all the combinations if they can only reach a basis for har¬ monious woi'fcing as the railroads have done. THERE is apparent an im.provement in the situation of the money markets throughout Europe, hut at the same time the condition of business shows deterioration. Money may he- come easier as it is withdrawn from industry and speculation, but the public demands are growing with each week. Not only are Great Britain. Germany and Russia negotiating bases for early loans, but smaller powers like Roumania and some of th^ German States need large amounts of money to defray necessary expenditures, so that, as is usual, the financial world may b."* busy while the Industrial and commercial worlds are dull. The chief items of the week are the improvement in the condition of the Bank of England under the return of funds from circulation, and the demonstration of weakness in the steel trade of Ger¬ many. London is still disturbed hy the London and Globe col¬ lapse, but in Berlin the failures of the mortgage banks has no further influence. In leaving this subject, the reading of a line in one of our exchanges affords considerable satisfaction. It is: "The directors of the two banks are now all in prison awaiting : a well-deserved punishment." The London and Globe enterprise seems to have been one of the most meretricious possible as a financial undertaking. It grew out of the amalgamation of some speculative corporations which were successful on a capital of $2,000,0'00, and which was inflated to $10,000,000 in the later or¬ ganization. The corporation had to take the stock market for the scene of its operation, and was, in fact, simply a corporate speculator encompassed by many more dangers than the indi¬ vidual speculator has to run, especially the danger of want of faith from wi'thin itself, the nature of which will be divulged if the legal proceedings commenced by the managing director ever reach the point of trial. However, no higher principle seems to have animated the management than exists in the mind of the merest "sport," that the public is fair game, and that nature in creating fools intended to enrich the sharp; conse¬ quently, the corporation receives no sympathy, and deserves none'. ■K_7r AYOR VAN WYCK'S defence of his administration ^^^ against the extravagance which has heen charged to its account is substantially correct. It is not Tammany which is chiefly responsible for the increase in municipal expenditures; it is consolidation and legislation at Albany over which the Mayor had no effective control. What with a charter which both increased the expenses of government and diminished its efficiency, and what with the obligations which were thrown upon the Greater New York hy the'smaller, cities which pre¬ ceded it, the present administration has been sti agsling from the start with a mass of financial responsibilities, y.'hich would willingly have repudiated or reduced. But"* .V '.*■■ neither repudiate nor reduce them, and it must make Ta^' . "*- writhe to think that so much money has been spent with s,* _ tie benefit to the organization. To get so much reputation 1,'' extravagance, yet to enjoy such a small share of the fruits thereof: these are stings which smart both in the front and in the rear, and which are only partly soothed by the. early in¬ creases in salaries. The candor and force of the Mayor's de¬ fence are very much diminished by the fact that he fails en¬ tirely to refer to these increases, precisely to estimate their cost, or in any way to justify them, and so both he and his critics can plausibly claim that the other side does not scruple to misrepresent the facts. The fair-minded critic has no part whatever to play in the game. WHAT better illustration could there be of the need for an effective organization that represents neither the Tammany nor the anti-Tammany parties, but simply and ex¬ clusively the interests of the property owners, who pay the taxes and want to see their money well spent? The reform-or¬ ganizations and newspapers represent primarily not economic and efficient administration of city business, but opposition to Tammany, and when the purpose for which they exist is served by misrepresenting Tammany, they do not hesitate to do so. The worst aspect of this misrepresentation is that it implies one thing, which is hy no means entirely and palpably true. It implies that if the candidate of the reform party succeeds at the next election, the taxpayers may feel sure of an honest, intelli¬ gent and capable administration of municipal business. Now, other things being equal, the city would probably be better governed under an anti-Tammany than under a Tammany Mayor, for a Tammany official necessarily serves two masters, of which the flrst and most important is his organization. But it by no means follows that, because a Mayor of the reform party would be likely to approach municipal business from a more disinterested point of view, that therefore he would keep* sufficiently in mind the interests of the property owners and taxpayers. On the contrary, the reform party have all sorts' of plans for tenement house reform and the like, which might easily be pushed ahead without paying sufficient attention to the husiness interests and issues involved. Ex-Mayor Hewitt gave an illustration last week of the temper in which such problems are too often approached, and which, if it were per¬ mitted to dictate municipal measures, could not fail to end dis¬ astrously. In short, the effective organization of property own¬ ers, upon the need of which The Record and Guide has so often insisted, would be quite as necessary under a reformed as under a Tammany administration. After all, municipal administra¬ tion is as much a matter of politics to the reformers as it is to Tammany, and the only way the business ideal of city govern¬ ment can be effectively and persistently maintained is by an organization which eotists solely for the purpose of presenting a business view of city affairs, and of checking and criticizing the details of municipal administration. Property owners have not the slightest assurance that the next reform Mayor would