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Real estate record and builders' guide: v. 71, no. 1823: February 21, 1903

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^^s ruary 21, 1903. RECORD AKD GUIDE 333 JtatrpDTof^LElsTAiE.BuiLDiffc A^nzcTURE.HouseholdDEOoiijiiDil. Biisiftess ajJdThemes Of Gfirto^ iKTERfs-f. PRICE PER YEAR IN ADVANCIl SIX DOLLARS Published eVerg Saturday Communications sliould bo addressed to C. W. SWEET. 14-16 Vesey Street, New YorH J. T. LINDSEY. Business Managtr Telephone. Cortlandt 3157 "Entered al the Post O.ffice at New York, if. T.. aa second-class ■matter." No. 18^3 \ u.. L,,\A.l. FEBRUARY 21, 1903. T T T HATEVER may have been the ground for and object of VV the raid made upon the stock market, it has served one good purpose in revealing the latent strength of prices. It makes it apparent, too, that there is a short interest in the mar¬ ket of hitherto unsuspected proportions. It was decidedly not the object of the raid to produce these results, but to create a liquicfating movement from which the raiders might profit. The actual results are all the more significant because actual condi¬ tions rather favored movements on the short side. A three-day holiday period was approaching which discouraged speculative buying; time money was firmer and exchange had actually reached the nominal shipping point, and it only needed some slightly encouraging circumstances, such as the sailing of a fast steamer, or the least increase in the demand from Enrope, to induce exports of gold. Coming on top of these a raid on prices so carefully organized as this was calculated to disorganize the market. The fact that it did not must be attributed to the unbroken confidence of the public in the soundness of the conditions underlying security values. The only parties hurt seem to have been the raiders themselves, because the break brought in outside support and the work of recovering stocks sold was therefore made more expensive. The whole incident increases confidence in the outlook and other circumstances show that the market is in good hands and will not be allowed to degenerate. Yesterday saw a continuation of the outside buying induced by the break of the previous day, and while some of the strength of prices was due to short covering usual to the eve of a holiday, there was decided promise of further advance in the coming week, ADVICES from Europe are taken up mainly with the latest phases of the Near Eastern question, and of the money markets in the centres of finance. Regarding the latter the con¬ ditions are high rates in London and extreme ease elsewhere. The circumstances indicate that these conditions will prevail i;or sometime. Money is scarce in London because of the reve¬ nue collections which are accumulating at the Bank of Eng¬ land, a process that will continue until the close of the fiscal year on Lady Day. Then will follow the demand for funds usual at the Easter holiday period; which, it is anticipated, will be supplied through the government's disbursement of its funds at the bank. This being the condition of affairs, it is not sur¬ prising that a rumor is afloat that the guaranteed Transvaal loan of £35,000,000 or £40,000,000 will not be put upon the market until the end of April. Whether this rumor has any authority or not has not transpired, but the government will surely not press the loan until the money market improves, Other Euro¬ pean centres are not subjected to circumstances like these, and consequently money is accumulating there to the satisfaction of borrowers. There is nowhere any complaint of the condition of genera! business, which continues to improve under reviving demand in many directions, reflected until the past few days in advancing prices for industrial securities. Business on the ex¬ changes are not large, and became irregular owing to the senti¬ mental effect of the actual presentation of the demands of the Powers on the Sultan for administrative reforms in the sections of his dominions where his subjects are mostly Christian. That tLese demands are endorsed by all the Powers besides Austria and Russia, upon whom the task of direct presentation has fallen, ought to be reassuring, but a disturbed market accom¬ panied by assurances from all sides that there is nothing to fear. Is a phenomenon not unknown in finance, and possibly before this political incident passes away prices may fall yet lower. The reason for this is that, like our own, the European markets aremainlyprofessional and the professional sells upon any public event in which there is an element of doubt, not because he feara the political consequences thereof, but simply and solely because It gives him an opportunity of making a turn. For the same rea¬ son he is just as ready to buy when the fears he has helped to create prove to be groundless. Recovery is likely to be as rapid as the decline. As a market factor the present crisis in the Balkans is not likely to have much effect, because it is improba¬ ble that the Sultan will in the end refuse acquiescence in Eu¬ rope's demands, and if the outcome is not wholly satisfactory to Macedonia and the surrounding states, the recollection of the fate of Greece in its attempt to force issues in the Balkans is too recent to fail of being a warning to the small powers that would otherwise be willing to help a movement for independence in the Christian provinces of Turkey. / ONE of the objections raised this week to the Aldrich bill for securing government deposits in national banks is, that it is not as good as a proper and comprehensive currency measure would be. This criticism is as correct as it is exasperating. If Congress will pass a measure which will give us a currency capa¬ ble of expanding and contracting according to the greater or less demand, the necessity for such measures as that of Mr. Aldrich will disappear. But it will not; hence it is that expedients must be created to obviate the worst consequences of the currency system that we have. The particular evil the Aldrich bill is de¬ signed to remedy was explained last week, and need not be re¬ peated now. The inclusion of railroad bonds in the collateral that may be received against government bonds is another point that has met with criticism. Those who object to this do not comprehend the strict qualifications surrounding tliis privilege. They are to be "the first mortgage bonds of any railroad com¬ pany which has paid dividends of not less than 4 per cent, per annum regularly upon its entire capital stock for a period of not less than ten years." It will be seen, flrst, that only first mort¬ gage bonds are to be permitted to the collateral, and, second, if the term during which divideuds have to be paid is the ten years last passed, this will reduce the number of companies whose first mortgage bonds may be received, to comparatively few, and will actually exclude the premier bond issues of many important companies, the Chicago & Northwestern and the Omaha, for in¬ stance, which are so prized by investors that they rarely appear in the market, and when they do fetch prices approaching those of government bonds. That it is intended that there shall be so strict a reading of these terms we doubt, but any Secretary of the Treasury may so read them. Possibly the framers of the bill are not aware how restrictive this condition may prove, but the facts show the care that has been taken to make the addi¬ tional available collateral for the deposits as choice as possible. WHEN before a Congressional committee as a witness to the accuracy of the estimates of cost for completing the Panama Canal, Mr. George Morrison, the well-known engi¬ neer, said no item had advanced in price since the estimate was made sufficiently to affect its conclusion, with the single excep¬ tion of cement, and the price of this he was sure would recede within two years. From this it may be taken that, in the opin¬ ion of this eminent authority, the constructive work that has for tbe past five years been going on all over the country has begun the return to noi-mal quantity. If this is so, it should have eitect upon the prices of building materials. This view finds cor¬ roboration in the fact that stocks of iron have begun to rise. The n.ovement is slow, but is taken to mean that home manufactures and imports have at length got slightly beyond demand. Stocks were on November 1, 71,858 tons; December 1, 94,295 tons; January 1, 99,895 tons, and February 1, 119,641 tons. These are not by any means large stocks, and considering the enormous production, supplemented as it is by large importations, they do not indicate any considerable falling off in demand. It is the gradual increase from month to month that is significant, espe¬ cially when the difiiculty of filling orders which was so long a characteristic of the iron trade is borne in mind. IT is by no means surprising that the bill to place a recording tax upon conveyances of real estate should be challenged on the ground of unfair discrimination. The view taken of this matter in these columns last week has found expression in the Legislature, and it is not easy to see how the stale administra¬ tion can get out of the difiiculty they have placed themselves in by persisting in their intention to tax conveyances of real estate, while abandoning the tax on conveyances of personal property, including the stock of corporations. Mature consideration doubt¬ less revealed difficulties in the way of enforcing the tax on stock transfers, which were not foreseen when tbe governor sent his message to the Legislature, but that Ib no reason why one class of property should be favored more than another, and certainly no reason why one class of property that already bears the bur¬ den of producing all but a fraction of the public revenue should he ztm furlber prejudleea in thig rMpect, while other classes go