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The Financial Flurry

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Crash is ft word often used by those who have no olear idea of its true meaning. It is graphically set forth in the old diotionaries as " the loud, miugled sound of many things falling and breakiug at once." Tlie moment this sigual strikes the ear vo instinctively ask oursalves two questions, nearly in the same breath : What lm tumbled P and, Who is hnrt ? It may be too soon to answer those questions in full, but as they will be on every lip to-day, it will do no harm and may do some good to consider thein briêtty this morning. In tho first place then, by nogatives, it is not the inercantile interest that has prooipitated the cutastrophe. Last year our importers did bring out more goods than were really needcd or oould be sold at a fair profit, and the trade dragged wearily until the stock was reduoed. This year the action has been reversed. We published, a day or two since, a full statement of the for.:ign oominerce of this port up to the close of August, ahowing that in the first eight months of the current year the imports were twenty-nine millons less, aud the exporta of produce and merchandise were t'orty-two and a half millions more than for the sameperiodof the preceding year. If tho proportion holds good at the other ports, the foreign comiuerce of the whole Uriited States for eight months will show about four lmndred and thirty millions of importa and four hundred and sixty millions of exporta, reckoning each in the currency stated, and including the moveinent of specie in both returns. If we deduct f rom the merchandise exporta the ditterence between their declared and ihe specie value, we shall still find tlie balance of trade, if not actually in our favor, at least not greatly against us. We come next to the victiras, and ask, Who is hurt 'i The disasters are chiotty among the operatois in the securities t ms carried by borrowed capital, and those who have been connected directly or indirectly with these operations. It is true that our merchante who have been engaged only in legitímate trade have some of them boen sharply cornered, and have had some difficulty in meeting their maturing obligations ; but a mere pressure for money is not disastrous, and thus iar we iind no real trouble in mercantile oircles. When merchants have gone outside of their legitímate business, and have dabbled in stocks, or lent their name and means to build railroads and develop patents and open mines, they have been caught with their new associates, and have paid the penality of their raehness and folly. But in all branches of regular trade there is no sign of trouble nor apprehension of evil to come. The season for the distribution of goods has opened auspiciously, and a healthy demand from the interior has been accompanied with promptness in the usual collections. The Louisvüle Covfier-Jmirwü of Saturday says : "The list of failures has swelled to formidable proportions, and the black ros ter includes the names of some half dozen of the principal banking houses of the United States. It is a gratifying and a reassuring fact, however, which can not be too much emphasizqd, that not a dollar has so far been sunk by any of the shipwrecked houses in the prosecution of their legitímate business - in dealings in bilis of exchange or in discounting commercial paper. Tempted by a dazzling bait in the shape of extra large commissions or other allurements they have laden themselves with such a burilen of securities that the prospect of carrying them successfully resolved itself into a purely speculative contingency, dependent upon a future conjunction of changes upon which as bankers they had no right to rely. They where deceived in their hope of squeezing through the straits which they knew beforehand could only be passed by the most skillful pilotage and the most favorable coudition of the money tide. To sum up the story they were caught between the upper and the nether milistones of an overwhelming load of securities and a stringent money niarket, which they had helped to deplete. "Hardly a man escapes bankruptcy who intrusts his fortune to Wall street vontures long enough. It is not legitímate business, for there is seldom any due proportion between investments on the one hand and profit and loss on the o her. A man might as wisely resort to a faro bank with the hope of making a safe living by fighting the ' tiger.' The young men who are earning fair wages by hard labor, paying as they go, living frugally and coming out with a small balance in their favor at the end of the year, have no reason to envy the kings of the ïiew York Stock Board. After a season of excitement, whose fierce and unatural heat dries up the spring of enjoyment, they almost invaribly end their career in bankruptcy. Money is an excellent thing to have ; a balance in the bank is pleasant to contémplate, but the man whopursues the phantom of wealth through the quagmire of stock-jobbing is chasing a deceitful will-o'-the-wisp, which will suddenly go out and leave him üoundering in the mire."


Old News
Michigan Argus