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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 71, no. 1816: January 3, 1903

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nuary 3, 1903. JiECOUD AND GUIDI:: e^it^ M or war ^ s^^ '^ ESTABUSHED^'(^CH2L^'^1868. itairiED 10 ffeA,L Estate . BuildiKg ApcrfrrEciURE .KouseiIouj DEooiiAiiotl. BUsuiESS Alio Thehes Of GeiJer^ . iNTIJ^SJi PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS 'Published eVerp Satardag Communications should be addressed to C. W. SWEET, 14-16 Vesey Street, New Yorh J. T, LINDSEY. Business Manager Telephone. Cortlandt 3157 "Entered at the Fast Office at ffew York, JV. Y., as second-class matter.' "Vol. LXXI. JANUARY 3, 1903. No. 1S16. IT was with a feeling of relief and satisfaction that Wall street watched the expiring of the old year. Money remained dear until the last moment; but, although the preced¬ ing three months had witnessed a good deal of liquidation which had not been unaccompanied by anxieties for the general situation, no really serious consequences developed, a spirit of recovery had already developed itself and the main features of the situation were encouraging. There is no likelihood of money becoming cheap at once; on the contrary, the extended commercial demand and the reluctance the West and South dis¬ play to returning the funds they nave, drawn so freely from this centre make that impossible. A five to six per cent, time fate is. therefore, likely to be kept up for a good while yet. Yet there are indications that the return movement has begun or is about to begin, the exchange rates between the various other cities and New York promise this, and as the movement takes shape and develops itself money will work easier and be more obtainable. At the close this week large amounts were offered on time at from five to five and a half per cent., though some large loaners said they could place all they had for six months at six per cent. Presumably they availed themselves of the op¬ portunity, though reports of considerable sums placed, either on time or call at the extreme rates for either were not received with absolute confidence. Call money should become consider¬ ably cheaper, as the unemployed balances at the banks will grow as funds return from commercial use, and the first of the year disbursements work themselves into "Vvall street again. As to business generally, from all sides the most gratifying accounts are received. Those of the railroad authorities who have ex¬ pressed themselves upon the subject, and who, taken together represent a very extensive territory, are unanimous in predict¬ ing another year of good business, and their judgment may be accepted as based upon a larger view of the conditions that make i,p a good or bad position, than probably that of any other set of business men. All these things make lor higher prices upon the stock market. Buying there is much more speculative than investment at present, as is indicated by the favor with which low-priced issues are treated. This is natural under the circumstances. Gilt-edged securities are not favored because the difference betv/sen their return and the carrying charges is still on the wrong side and, except in the few instances where development promises an advance in quotations more than suffi¬ cient to offset that, they are neglected. Still looking at the sit¬ uation as a whole the opinion must be that as a general thing prices will advance further. Room professionalism is inclined to work for lower prices, but seems to be met by an opposing force from outside stronger than itself. NOT a little amusing nor uninstructive of the change that is coming over British and Continental business, is the mod¬ erated view now taken of the competition of the United States, As the outlook improves fear of this country is growing less and some that used to refer with awe to the American "terror," now flippantly speak of the American "bogey." The London "Times," in discussing the claim that American railroad management is superior to British, says; "We may perhaps hear less of this wonderful superiority during the next year or two, for things are expected to happen which will reduce admiration for American business methods within reasonable limits," The "Times" evi¬ dently considers the admirntion hitherto expressed for our meth¬ ods unreasonable, and bases its opinion upon an expectation of ti'ouble if not disaster soon to come upon us by reason of these -°thods. The "Times" and others w'ho are now belittling what y once feared or/"'mired, have still something to learn of the tiises at the r=V ^V \ inderful success. These they will jreciate ^" \ ' demands R'-ackp" a**'' ""ur highly mobilized and organized labor and capital turns its atten¬ tion to foreign markets to work off their surplus products. They will then understand the value of the work of organization that has been done aere in the past ten years. However, the less nattering view of ourselves and our methods is agreeable and acceptable to us when taken simply as an indication of improved confidence in foreign business circles, because, as we have said before, it is much more profitable to compete in a market where' prices are upheld by domestic demands than in one where both foreign and domestic producers are cutting each other's throats. European security markets are hesitating at the movement be¬ cause of the possibilities of political complications involved in the Morocco incident, but there is as little likelihood of anything serious evolving from that than there was in the Venezuelan matter. The tendency is too much to dispose of all such'ques¬ tions diplom-atically to permit them to be seriously disturbing factors or to allow them to become matters for real anxiety. As with us. that the monetary requirements of the year in Europe were met without revealing weakness in the financial situation is a source of gratiiieatiou and of confidence in the outlook for the future. Prices generally were firm on the Exchange, and it Ts permissible to expect an enlargement of the buying from this on. Consols are freely recommended for purchase, on the ground that they have for some time been accumulated for a rise, which will be assisted by the promised reduction of the income tax. This tax is now locally estimated as equivalent to about six psr cent, of the return of the security and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently said, that in any consideration of relief in the matter of taxation, the burdens upon income were entitled to first attention, it is presumed that a substantial reduction of the income tax will be made and that this will materially aid the bull movement in consols. Owing to their exemption from the tax and the vastly improved crop and financial prospects of the dependencies British Colonial loans have had the preference of the European investor over the typical investment security. [ T N spite of the confident statements of the chairman of the * State Railroad Commission, there should be small expecta¬ tion that the interference of that body will issue in any effective amelioration of the existing transit evils. At best it can result in only a few makeshifls, which will carry the railroads over the present agitation, but which will leave the roots bf the trouble untouched. Two propositions can be laid down ihi-tiie matter as fundamental: (1) that the railroad companies will atr.'.ajs crowd their cars as full as public opinion and official supervision will permit; (2) that the city is confronted, not only by a tem¬ porary crisis, but a permanent evil, which none but the most radical measures will cure. The first step that should be taken is a study of the question in all its aspects by a competent local commission, with a view both to providing regular supervision, and to initiating the measures that look towards a permanent cure. In the meantime there can be no doubt that the elevated roads could be made much more serviceable by means of a few comparatively unimportant changes; and it is only fair to the management of that company that, so far as necessary, it should be legally authorized to make these changes. Anything the company needs in the way of third-track privileges and connec¬ tions betvi-een the different branches of its system, should be granted on condition that it makes suiiicient and adequate im¬ provements in its car service, and enlarges its stations at cer-' tain congested points. The details of such an arrangement can only be determined after a full investigation; but it is obvious that the elevated roads can be made indefinitely more serviceable than they now are. and that, since they will remain in any event an integral part of the transit system of the metropolis, they should be developed to their highest capacity. The former man¬ agement of the Manhattan Company ahvays refused to meet the city half-way in planning these desirable connections; but. per¬ haps, the new management will prove to be more amenable to public opinion and more desirous of securing the good-will of its patrons. THOUGH the Board of Estimate have accepted some of the most important of the property owners' amendments to the New York Central's plan for the Park avenue improvement, the owners themselves are not wholly satisfied that all that can be done is done. The adoption of the extension of the avenue from Forty-ninth street to Forty-fifth street is a very gratifying concession, as is also that relating to the location of the proposed power plants, which, if not on the East River are not to be more than two blocks east of it. Something has been gained, too, in the conditions that are to accompany a franchise, particularly that relating to the incidence of the cost of the improvement and that obligins: the railroad company to substitute electricity for steam as a on-er. But there is still dissatisfaction with V -