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Record and Guide.
Dev^JTED to He4 EsfftTE BUlLDIfJG Al^Ot^lTECTJl^E .HoOSElJOLO DEG0f?AT10Â«.
BUsitJESs kin Theme? of Gei^ei^.V 1;jte:\est
PRICE, PER YEAR IN ADVANCE, SIX DOLLARS.
Pit.bli,shed every Saturday.
Telephone, - . - - Cortlandt 1370.
Communications should be addressed to
C. W. SWEET, 14 & i6 Vesey St.
J. T. LINDSEY, Business Manager.
MAY 9, 1891.
NOTICE OF REMOVAL.
The publication offices of The Record and Gdide have been
removed to Nos. 14 anc! 16 "Vesey street, over The Mechanics' and
Traders' Exchange, a few feet west of Broadway.
\ LL the private dispatches received from Europe within the
-^^^ past few days indicate a very uneasy, if not alarming state
of mind in the foreign financial centres. This uneasiness is not
confined to Berlin, where it has long been prevalent, or to London,
which has not yet recovered from the Baring troubles, or to Itflly
whose finances are very depressed, but has extended also to Paris
and Brussels. Whether the contributions of gold, which New York
has exported, will sevve to allay this uneasiness is not yet certain ;
but it will assuredly tend to have such an effect. The large
bankers in this city who deal in exchange have always
asserted that the exportation, which has so impeded the upward
movement of prices in our stock market was a natural operaÂ¬
tion, as, indeed, it has been ; but they have not yet properly
described the process. The great explanatory fact Is that foreign
bankers have been obliged, during the uneasiness abroad, to curtail
by one-half the accommodations which they ordinarily give to their
connections in this city, and consequently tbe American banker
has had so much less credit to draw on. Thus, suppose that au
American banker liad been in the habit of selling every spring
$5,000,000 worth of exchange to importersâ€”exchange which he
would pay for in easy times with sixty and ninety-day bills. He
will have had the same demand for exchange during the present
season from importers; but instead of his usual credit, his foreign
connections, owing to their troubles, only allow him to draw on
them for $2,500,000. In order, then, to meet his obligations abroad
he has been obliged to export $3,500,000 in gold, thus settling in
cash debts that are ordinarily balanced against the exchange moveÂ¬
ment in our direction which takes place when we begin to sell our
wheat, etc. When this counter-movement does begin there will
follow a return of the gold. Furthermore, since our exportations
tbis year are liable to be very large, there will be an increasing tenÂ¬
dency for the gold to come back. During JulyandAugustthiscoun-
ter-movement will take place. Apart from these foreign complicaÂ¬
tions the present conditions are very favorable. The harmonious
meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Western TrafiBc AssociaÂ¬
tion gives a substantial basis for anticipations of good earnings, and
subordinate railway officials havt; received a lesson they will not
forget. As to the rest, the labor troubles are gradually settling
themselves; and the frost has not done any considerable harm.
LORD COLERIDGE recently remarked, much to the umbrage
of the London newspapers, that a journalist out of print made
about as poor a showing as a duck out of water. His meaning eviÂ¬
dently was Ihat the mere fact of printing a man's statements, parÂ¬
ticularly in a journal of established reputation, surrounded them by
an illusion and gave to them an authority which the writing itself
did not warrant. Reflections of this kind are continually forced
on the attention of a reader of the Wall street articles in daily
newspapers. No doubt if it was possible to discern the men behind
these attempts to account for financial facts and direct financial
opinion, to watch by some telepathic process the antic gyraÂ¬
tions of their minds, to ascertain unerringly the stupendous
number of facts which they do not know, to learn the sources from
which their advice to the public is derived, the illusion would ao far
disappear, and we could then determine ao exactly the value of
their criticisms and recommendations that their articles of to-day
would be as utterly neglected as those of last year. In point of
fact their advice or prevision is worse than useless; it is utterly
misleadingâ€”sometimes from ignorance, sometimes from design.
Two weeks ago we commented on a remarkable example of this
ignorance on the part of the financial writer in a daily journal
who, in speaking of the " campaigning undertaken by manipuÂ¬
lators of Pittsburg, Cincinnati. Chicago & St. Louis stock," said
that " the road is not of enough consequence to have a list of its
Board of Directors quoted in' Poor's Manual,'" thus showing himself
to be totally in the dark as to the standing of this corporation, which,
it need scarely be said, ia the outcome of the recent consolidation
of all the principal lines controlled by the Pennsylvania Eailroad
Company west of Pittsburg, and which is one of the greatest corÂ¬
porations iu the country. What possible value can the chatter of
auch an ignoramus be to anybody ; and the fact that it appears in
tbe columns of an important newspaper only makes it the more
reprehensible. So it is, as a rule, with the rest of the aame tribe.
For instance, most of the financial writers lately have sedulously
been distributing "points" on Wheeling and Lake Erie, and
Louisville, New Albanv, aud Cliicago. In commenting on the
merits of these important stocks, the wording of the remarks has
been at times so similar aa to suggest that some of the writers had
ao little originality as to use the same type-written inspiration.
However that may be, an outsider following the newspaper
accounts of the market might , have supposed that
amidst the great mass of securities thereon exchanged,
these two stocks were the pick, and that those
ot other corporations were small by comparison. The impresÂ¬
sion created was distinctly falseâ€”the importance of two minor
securities being unduly emphasized, and the importance of the
other elements in the market being unduly minimized. Doubtless
many people have been deceived by these "points" into taking a
" flyer" in these stocks, which have beenfreely peddled out for the
past two weeks without undergoing any advance in price. Since
no man can know everything, ignorance is perhaps at times excusÂ¬
able ; but the deliberate endeavor to " work " a public position for
private endd is far more culpable, and Wall Street operators will
soon learn to place as much confidence in the advice of a newsÂ¬
paper on financial matters as they do in the weather predictions of
some Wiggins or the political sagacity of a hide-bound partisan.
THE appointment announced of two such excellent citizens
and desirable associates as Bernard F, Martin and James F,
Keating to well-paid and responsible offices has moved the Herald
to anathemize Tammany as again lashing "her fiery tail ""in
supreme defiance of decency and public opinion." This ebullition
of indignation, couched in the Herald's unique and vigorous lanÂ¬
guage, has moved the Evening Post to reproach such of its mornÂ¬
ing contemporaries as did not strenuously support the election of
Francis M. Scott. Says the Post :
, No sooner does an honest man consent to stand for office tbau some TamÂ¬
many hureling in the press dubs him " Piatt's man," or " Grace's man," or
somebody else's man, and then everbody wbo wants an excuse for escapÂ¬
ing the trouble of taking part in an effort to give tbe city decent governÂ¬
ment exclaims: " Oh, well, what is the uae of trying to do anything? Wb
are bound to be fooled by the politicians anyway. If we defeat Tanimany,
we will get somebody else just as bad in power over us." And then thirty
thousand or more voters wiU stay away from the pollson election day, and
Tammany will win anotber victory. Wben it is all over, the newspapers
which have betrayed their trust and have brought it about will come out
and censure the reforuaers for the " mistakes" of tbeir campaign, and wiU
assure their readers that tbey hava reasons for hoping that Tammany will
not give tbe city such a very bad administration afler all; and when, a
(ew months later, Tammany makes a fresh batch of appointments, a little
worse than the last batch, thesa virtuous moulders of public opinion, these
moral guides of the people, these admonishers of reformers, will shako
their heads sadly and remark that Tammany is a very shameless and disÂ¬
reputable and unworthy ruler, but that, after all, tbe people are the real
culprits, since tbay put Tammany in office.
The journals at which these shafts are aimed are willing, if not
able, to take care of tbemselves, and we are only inclined to pity
such intellectual weaklings when rational people get after them_
But whether the press have or have not failed in their duties to the
public, do the above statements, and others to the same effect
which preceded them, indicate the proper relation which an honest
organ of public opinion should bear to a reform movement, using
the methods employed by the People's ftlunicipiil League last fall ?
All the actions of that organization were based on the supposition
that the majority of the voters in this city are better than TamÂ¬
many, and tbat if the issue could be cleanly drawn between a
political administration of our common affa'Irs and a business
administration that, the voters would declare in favor of the latter.
Well 1 the issue was as cleanly drawn as possible consistent with
certain political leanings of the supposed majority, and Hugh J.
Grant was re-elected. " But," it will be answered, " what ahout
those 30,000 people who stayed away from the polls ? That is the
important never-to-be-forgotten fact of the last election."
Undoubtedly if all these laggards had voted for Scott tbat gentleÂ¬
man would bave been elected; but what right have we for assuming
that they would not have been distributed hetween the two candiÂ¬
dates in nearly the aame proportion as that into which was divided
the whole mass of voters. In order to overcome Grant's majority
the reform candidate would have had to poll a very large percentÂ¬
age of these votes, and one that must needs increase as the number'