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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 69, no. 1773: March 8, 1902

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March 8, igo2. RECORD AND OUJDE. 411 ^y - ESTABUSHED "^ MRBPH SVi Dp/oted 10 Real EIstate . Building AfK^nrenmE MousErioiL DEGtapDii* BusiiJess aiIdThewes of GE(toi^. IjftEBf3T. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE SIX DOLLARS "Published every Saturday OommunicaCIODS should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14"16 Vesey Street, New YorK S, T. LINDBET. Business Manager Telephone, Cortlandt 3107 'Entered at the Post Office at New Tork, N. Y.. as second-class matter.' Vol. LXIX. MARCH 8, 1902. No. 1773 NOW BEADT FOR DELIVBRT. lhe a/tmital ivunnher of lhe Record and Guide Quarterly contain¬ ing all ihe real estate reeords for the year 1901, anwiiated and al- phabeiically and mimericaUy arranged, I'it/)lished by ihe Record (Mid &uide, 14 1(3 Vesey St. THE stock market presents to-day a tne re curious problem than it has ever done before. Perhaps for the first time in its history tho late boom lel't slocks in the hand;; of the big men who are numerically small, and the little, ones who make up the crowd have since been held back fearing that if they venture in the positions will be reversed. The public are now so thoroughly impressed with the idea that present holders of stocks are only waiting an opportunity to unload upon them tbat it seems almost impossible to induce them to return to speculative ventures. Meantime prices are kept strong, and in a sufEcient number of cases advancing, so as to create the impression at least that a new bull movement is under way; but all the time commission broker's offices are inconsistently empty. One element of strength and the one that explains tbe buoyancy of the better class of dividend paying stocks, is the large amount of money that is seeking investment in a market previously raked over and over again for securities that will return a fair income with perfect safety for principal. The volume of transactions in listed bonds has fallen off heavily from what it was a few weeks ago, as if their attraction had been exhausted for the time being. New Yoi'k City bonds, which, since the passage of the act taxing capital and surplus of banking and trust companies, are not so much esteemed as an investment for surplus as they were before, are plentiful enough. There is no doubt of the value of this bond as an in¬ vestment and the individual buyer ought to give it his at¬ tention. It cannot be bought for speculative advances, because the city must be a large borrower for years to come, and thus will keep up the supply, but where confidence in the investment and a moderate return are all that are desired, these bonds should be attractive. Coming back to tbe general situation, it may be remarked that current events, such as rate cutting, gold exports, crop reports, the movements of money, etc., are not what are usually responded to by advancing prices, but all opinions agree on the soundness of the general business situation, and this for the time being outweighs all the rest. SINCE tbe movement in Kaffirs subsided, the only activity ■in the financial markets of Eiu-ope comes from the placing of government and municipal loans. AU the offerings of ineriE are covered by subscription many times over. Dealings on the market, however, are not large and prices move up slowly. Typical issues, such as British Consols and German Imperial 3s have advanced but three or four points in the past year. The former are still selling near the low records of the past gen¬ eration, made on the outbreak of hostilities between France and Germany in 1S70, and on the Baring failure. It must be that buyers of either of these issues at cuiTCnt flgures, Consols at 94@95 and German Imperial 3s at 91, will make money in the course of the next two or three years. Our coal men do not seem to have pushed their wares much in the French market; a report just issued shows that while France was a buyer of 15,391.000 tons of foreign coal last year, only 59,000 was im¬ ported from America. Latest reports from Germany are of an nnsatisfactory coal business and an iron business carried on at a loss. The statement of the great Laura Works in Silesia (crude and manufactured iron and coal) for the six months ended with December 31, shows earnings of $740,000 or $550,000, less than for the corresponding months of 1900; and the signi¬ ficant explanation is given that these earnings resulted entirely from coal, the iron departments of the company having been operated at a loss. A very remarkable report has been issued from Berlin, to the effect tbat as a result of a census taken by 12,000 workmen devoting two consecutive Sundays to the task, it was (discovered that there were in that city and its suburbs 76,029 persons wholly unemployed, 52,501 partly unemployed, and in addition 19.239 permanently or temporarily incapacitated through illness. If this is true, it reveals a depth of business depression previously undreamt of; but it can hardly be that in a population of less than 3,000,000—Berlin alone has less tban 2,000,000—147,769 persons old enough to work are wholly or partially unemployed. The Mayor's Message. THE dominant impression produced by Mayor Low's mes-» sage is that he is somewhat bewildered ijy the magnitude and difficulty of the task with which he is confronted. The specific recommendations contained in the document are very few. He suggests that something ought to be done to diminish the present annual charge made upon the municipal revenues by tbe Sinking Fund; tbat tbe city should appropriate $10,000,000 im¬ mediately for new school sites and construction; and that it is imperative tliat provision i)e made for au increased water sup¬ ply, both in Brooklyn and Manhattan, But these and other recommendations are with the single exception of those con¬ nected with schools very vague and indecisive. Tbe Mayor candidly admits that he has not as yet bad time to become sufficiently acquainted with tbe municipal business of the city, and he evidently does not wish Lo prejudice any ultimate de¬ cisions he may reach by passing at the present time hasty and perhaps ill-advised judgments. Tbe mayor cannot be blamed for being circumspect in the development of bis positive policy; but, considering that his term is only two years long, it is extremely unfortunate tbat so much time is lost in the preliminary task of obtaining in¬ formation and reaching conclusions. If the accounts of tbe city were properly kept, if full information was given out in respect to tbe condition of ptiblic business and public works, and if a closer attention was paid to the hard details of muni¬ cipal administration by men who may become candidates for municipal office, it would not be necessary for a mayor to post¬ pone a decision as to the broad outlines of his constructive policy until after a fourth of his term had vanished. He would have made up his mind in advance what in general be wanted to do, and need only to leave the ways and means to post¬ election decision. As we pointed during the campaign, it is one of the unfortunate results of concentrating exclusive attention during a canvas upon denouncing Tammany, that after Tam¬ many is turned out tbe new administration is not realiy ready to do business. It is better prepared to be honest aud incor¬ ruptible than to be effieient. We do not mean to infer that tbe present administration will not in tbe end reach a high standard of efficiency, as it already has of frankness and honesty. It has been embarrassed so far by the necessary preliminary task of revising tb.e budget and reforming the salary list. But as it holds office for only two years, its chance to outline and realize a definite and comprehensive constructive policy will be so much diminished by a period of indecision and delay. After all, what is needed for tbe proper conduct of the muni¬ cipal business of New Yoi-k, is, not only a full and definite in¬ formation, but a large and comprehensive understanding of the progress New York is making and the consequent necessity of adequate public improvements. The present administration will succeed or fail just in proportion as it masters the im¬ portant general needs of tbe city, and takes adequate measures to meet them. No policy it could adopt would be more fatal, both to its own popularity, and to the essential interest of a city tban a niggardly policy of limiting the improvements it will cari-y on to those already begun by the last administra¬ tion, or of being afraid to make plans for the future, because its own term of office is limited to two years. The municipality of New York is in tbe position of a big estate, whose powers of production are curtailed by inadequate roads and machinery and by a financial system that does not provide sufficient means for permanent improvements, and it rests with tbe managers of the estate, both to provide the roads and machinery, and to find the money. Tbe first problem to be faced is tbat of tbe debt limit, for the recent report of tbe Comptroller on this question showed plainly tbat under the present limit absolutely necessary and extremely remunerative improvements have to be held up, because of tbe restrictions of tbat limit. The in¬ crease of debt every year under the existing constitutional amendment is inadequate to pay for improvements already au-