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The Financial Hurricane

The Financial Hurricane image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
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Quito a rinaiieinl hurricane if not an earthquake h;ts prevailed in Wall street and other money and bond centers since the last issue ot' the Akqls. Iu tact the Akous had but just gone to press Thursday evening, when the failure or suspension of the housees of Jay Cüüke & Co., New York, Philadelphia, and Washington ; of E. W. Ci.AiiKE fc Co., Philadelphia; and the Fiist National Bank, Washington, was announced. KeNYOK Cox & Co., had before that day gone down under a load of Canada Southern ; the Northern Pacific pioved too niueh for Jay Cooke & Co., and his houses carried the others named. On Friday Fisk & Hatch, fiscal agents of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, were cotnpelled to suspend, followed closely by. Jacob Little & Co ; E. D. Randoi.I'H & Co., Ponnsylvania Kailroad bankers, and others ; on Saturday by the I'nion and National Trust Compames and the Bank of the Comuionwealth ; on Tuesday by Henry Clews & Co.; on Wednesday by Howe & Mat Y : and lesser houses all along between. Ou Saturday the Stock Exchange and the Gold Board stopped business- aa protective measures. The run on the Savings Banks at New York and in other cities has been severe, but yesterday it was thought the worst was over. The suspended houses, or most of the leading ones, claim assels largely in excess of liabilities, but set up inability to realize incurrency. Liabilities were all duo, bul paper held as assets not due. In this State there has been as yet no suspensions. Yesterdny the Detroit Savings Banks united in a notice that they would tako advantage of the time-clause : this to guard against withdrawals not for business, but to hoard. In our city a disposition was shown on Saturday and Monday to run the Savings Bank, two causes leading to such action : the local excitement growing out of the bad failure of Millek & Webster, and the knowledge that the bank kept its New York account with Jay Cooke & Co. It has withstood the pressure, not even sheltering itself under the timeclause, and to-day is strong in currency and ready for any emergeucy less than a universal crash. Jay Cooke i; Co., transferred f4,900 cash received frotn this bank the day of their suspension to the Metropolitan National Bank, on whioh it now draws. The First National Bank has also kept the wheels in continuous and regular motion, has increased daily in currency, and its officers are contident of their future. Our business men seem determined to stand by both banks and tho banks by each other. The late suspension of Jay Cooke & Co., Fisk & Hatch, and other wellknown and prominent bankers operating largely in railroad securities has caused the changes to be rung on the phrase, "we have been building too man y railroads." It is not the length of the roads, neither that they have been built in advance of the demand, nor on credit, as mucli as it is the mode or manner in which they have been built and operated. The newer railroads of the country, with scarcely an exception, have cost doublé what they should - the excess going to enrich the "rings" which have had them in charge. Enterprises which have never paid dividends to stockholders nor interest to bondholders have laid golden eggs for presidents and diiectors and superintendents and fiscal agents. Stock dividends to directors, stook issues to legislators, stock games of foot-ball in Wall street, and 125,000 salaries, with hangers on and favorites innumerable that is the secret of unthrift and failure and bankruptcy. If directora were expected and required to build roads on business principies, putting the money intrusted to them iuto roadbeds and rolling stook, they might not get rich so suddenly, neither would their gullible and gulled stockholders be so thoroughly fleeced. The Erie railroad has never paid a dividend, though its business is always in excess of its capacity, but it has owned legislators and judges and pioved a mine of wealth to successive presidents and managers. Twenty-five thousand dollars a year is an outrageous suin to pay a railroad president or manager - unless he is expected to use it in buying and selling men instead of for his own support. And the Erie is but a type of many railroad enterprises - the managers rolling in wealth at the expense of the stoekhokler and the public. Reform should begin in the direction of the management. Men should be employed at fair salaries, should be held to a strict account for the moneys placed at their dieposal, and should be proüibited by law and under heavy penalty from " operatiugs" in railroad stocks or securities "bulling" and " bearing" the market. If laws could be enactnd and enfoiced making it a penitentiary offense for a broker, railroad officer, or other person to sell stock he does not own or deliver or buy stock he does not take and pay for, railroad gambling would be essentially stopped, and railroad enterprises would thereafter be conducted upon business principies. Large salaries, speculations at the expense of wards whose interest should be protected, and gambling : these are evils to be abatod before railroad enterprises will take on a healthy tone. In the Detroit Common Council on Tuesday evening last, there was a tio vote on a resolution ordering the issne of " Park Bonds " in the suin of $:300,000. This action will make it necessary for the Park Commissioners to test the constitutionality of tho Park law by a mandamus suit; and that is what is wanted by the opponentsof the Park soheme in and out of the Council. The Council was urged to issue the bonds, and its duty to obey the law impressed upon it ; but it preferred to contest at the mandamus end. This action will give " cooling time:" which jüdging by the financial crisis in Wall street may well be taken. The crew of Dr. Halls Arctic exploration steamer Polaris, the fate of which has caused much speculaiiou and anxiety tor Borne months, arrived at Dundoe Scotland, on the 18th inst., having been picked up by the whaler liuvensciaig, which rescued them from their boats on the 20th of July last, 20 miles soutti of Cape York.


Old News
Michigan Argus