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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 68, no. 1754: October 26, 1901

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October 26, 1901. RECORD AKD GUIDE. -V Dnfr—T TO FfeU E:JTA!E.BUILDI^'G A,RO(lTECTURE.H0llSm0U5DEQaRp£n1, BusiN'Ess Atb Themes Of GeiJer^ iKiERgsi. ESTABLISHED^^ fj\ARpH2lii^ IBBS. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS Published eVery ■Saturdag Communlcatloaa should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14=16 Vesey Street. New YorK J. T. LINDSET, Business Manag-er Telephone, Cortlacdt 3157 'Entered at ihe Tost Office at New York, N. Y.. as second-class matter." Vol. LXVIII. OCTOBER 26, 1901. No. 1754. THE substantial buying in the securities marliet, remarked last week, continues, and is to be especially noted in the bond division wbere the total transactions each day this week have run up to a handsome figure. In the best of railroad stocks there has been good buying, too. In the more speculative issues of both railroad bonds and stocks there has been consid¬ erable realizing, but not sufEicient to do more than check the ad¬ vance temporarily. Manipulation of quotations is by no means altogether absent, and its presence accounts for many of the stories of new combinations and absorptions; but on tne whole, it must be admitted, that tbe market has the appearance of being about to open out and become more active with rising prices. Tbis movement, however, is not assisted by tbe advance in sterling exchange and the talk of gold exports. The sea¬ son Has arrived wlien the coalers should come in for some favorable attention. It is reported tbat the anthracite produc¬ tion of the past year has been the biggest in tbe trade, 10,000,000 tons, more than in 1899-'0O, the total being 55,000,000 tons. This result combined with the understanding tbat tbe anthracite in¬ terests have been working in more harmony than ever was known before, raises tbe hopes of stockholders regarding tbe results to stocks. Something must be allowed for the increased cost of production as a result of the terms seJ3ured by the miners in the last strike and of the advance in tbe prices of materials generally, yet still tbe earnings available for dividends ought to be greater than last year on a production that made a handsome increase of more than 20%. "What helps the anthracite trade helps the bituminous also. The circumstances continue to keep the attention of investors and speculators both largely confined to railroad issues to the exclusion of the claims of the Industrials. It has become somehow the impression that this class of secur¬ ities has something to fear from the coming Congi-ess, though why the consolidation of manufacturing interests ought to be more subject to attacks from Washington than consolidations of carrying interests no one has explained. OE course it would be much easier for Congress to reach tbe one than the other. Some variations of the tariff could easily put the larger industrial com¬ binations in a very different position than they are now in, while they would not affect tbe business of the carriers. But as a matter of principle if a policy of repression of combinations is to be undertaken, one would think it ought to be against the practice of combinations in general and not against particular in¬ dustries tbat have become in a measure combined. A S the year goes on European financial markets will be more ^~^ and more occupied with the movements of money, and in¬ vestment and speculative operations will lessen accordingly. Ad¬ vance arrangements for meeting the year-end settlements if not already begun soon will be. The accumulation of gold by the Imperial Bank of Germany, reported this week, is doubtless in preparation for tbis; and to the expectation that the Bank of England will take protective measures under a corresponding necessity, is due the rumor that an advance of its rate is contem¬ plated. These things, taken in connection with the continued de¬ pression in business, do not improve tbe situation; nor do the current official reports and returns from which the general con¬ ditions are deducted. Thus the latest reports of British foreign trade show losses in both classes, imports and exports. French revenue returns give no sign of recovery from the losses that have characterized them for some time and German industrial corporations are passing dividends right along. One tbat paid 17 per cent last year has recently announced that it will pay nothing this. The cement industry is in great trouble. It was hoped to provide some relief for the bad condition of this trade by the organization of a syndicate composed of several groups of factories, but this syndicate, it is reported now, has gone to pieces, under an inability to sustain prices in a period of poor demand. The development of the American cement industry and the consequent decline in export business to the United States is given as one and the most important reason for tbe present depression in the German cement trade. An interesting instance of tbe appreciation of the European public for gold, especially where there appears to be any danger of a scarcity, comes from Austria. When it was decided that tbe Austro-Hun- garian Bank should make a trial with gold coins in the circula¬ tion, it was prophesied in financial circles that the public would not absorb tbe gold, but that the greater part of it would soon return to tbe bank. This prophecy has proved false it appears. The bank emitted 17.3 million crowns worth of 20-erown pieces in a month or six weeks, and only 248,000 crowns returned to the tills of the bank; all the rest was put by in the secret drawers of the public, for not a piece is to be seen in circulation. This does not look as if the Austro-Hungarian public were very confident of the early success of tbe long protracted measure to give the dual empire a gold currency which has had so many interrup¬ tions. THE utterances of Dr. Albert Shaw about municipal govern¬ ment in New Yorlt or any other city are always interest¬ ing and instructive, because he combines a complete knowledge of the subject with an unusually well-balanced judgment, and his remarks recently before the Congregational Club were quite up to their usual level of interest. He particularly dwelt upon the fact that the history of municipal elections in New York is not an aimless succession of victories and defeats, but that there bas been some measure of progress from one election to an¬ other. Each consecutive administration brings with it certain im¬ provements, which are partly if not'wholly retained by subse¬ quent administrations. Said Mr. Albert Shaw: "Much that was gained undej- the reform administration of Mayor Strong haa been permanently held during a Tammany regimg by a tenacious public opinion. If tbe reform forces should win tbis year great progress would undoubtedly result in the coming period of two years, and it would for the most part be permanent gain, even if a reaction should follow and another Tammany administra¬ tion should have its turn. Such is the course and method of municipal progress in New York, and many another town. * * ' Even with a Tammany government we should make some prog¬ ress in the right direction, because Tammany must respond at certain points to the demands of an improved public opinion." It should be added that the gains tbat are made from one elec¬ tion to another are not simply the result of a tenacious public opinion, forcing from office-holders a certain standard of per¬ formance. They are due quite as much to a more thorough un¬ derstanding of the problems of municipal government. T T is one of tbe most encouraging aspects of the present situ- -^ ation that tbe actual business of city administration is un¬ doubtedly being more carefully studied and more fully discussed than ever before. As the Record and Guide has frequently pointed out, the task of undertaking such a study is not even yet pushed as far as it should be; but it is certainly pushed very much further than it used to be. A multitude of new and for tbe most part good ideas about municipal government are in the air, and tbe different candidates are all more or less infiuenced by them, and are committed to carrying out at least some of them. Both Mr. Shepard and Mr. Low, for instance, have been occupied at first hand with the actual details of municipal ad¬ ministration. Mr. Low Is a capable and experienced executive, Mr. Shepard as counsel for the commission, has a full and mi¬ nute knowledge of the rapid transit situation as any man in the city. Both have definite ideas about the way to get or recover full value for municipal franchises. Neither of them pay suffi¬ cient attention in their speeches to the financial situation of the city, and to the necessity of finding a largely increased income without augmenting the tax burden of real estate; but this is obviously a problem wbich cannot be escaped, and which during tbe next two years will be so much discussed and so carefully studied, that some way out of tbe difficulty will eventually be discovered. By making these remarks, we have no intention of minimizing the differences between the candidates. There are plenty of solid reasons for preference either one way or the other. But it is worth while, at the present time, when, during the heat of the canvas, some of the speakers are foreshadowing dire disaster to the city, in case their candidate is not elected; it is worth while to remember that political conditions are on the whole improving, and that there is no danger of New York, like Philadelphia, becoming tbe victim of one party of politicians, Whatever party obtains power has to submit to a most search- ing criticism, and to a most strenuous resistance, Eacb succeed¬ ing election brings with it a more enlightening and formative dis-