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:THE MISSING COIN; • • OR;■…

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A RAMBLERS JOTTINGS. ,---+----

----_._------OUR CITY ARTICLE.…

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OUR CITY ARTICLE. 4. AN opinion, long entertained by a large class of practical thinkers, is daily gaining ground that oar monetary system rests upon too narrow a basis, and that consequently it is too limited in its operations to meet the legitimate wants of our enlarged and constantly enlarging trade and commerce. Our exports have doubled within a very short space of time, and our imports exhibit signs of even greater magnitude and proportion. Population goes on pari passu with our growing wealth and prosperity; and there is no lack of the energy and skill which are required to keep our productive capacity fully up to the mark. Joint- stock ,enterprise, has called into existence an industrial power which is unparalleled in its results, and the repeal of the old law of unlimited liability has stimulated enterprise and speculation to open up fields which before were left barren and neglected. Yet, with all this expansion of our industrial powers, we are mainly confined to a single source for the supply of the means we re- quire to keep them in activity, and are dependent i upon a single body of men who have the power, in a grea,t measure, to determine the price we are to pay for those means. Centralisation is highly inimical to English feeling when! applied to political affairs, but it is tolerated with the utmost, equanimity when money matters are subjected to its rule. Strange to say, we per- mit by law the Bank of England, with its solitary fourteen millions odd of capital, to control the hundreds and thousands of millions of capital em- ployed in our trading and manufacturing callings, but would resent with extreme indignation any interference with our municipal or parochial rights, however trivial and insignificant it might be. We, in short, respect individuality in almost all ur social and political duties, but in the rule and regulation of monetary affairs we submit, it is fairly alleged, to the most contradictory and paralysing monopoly. Without subscribing unreservedly to these views, we must confess that it is a debatable question— whether the Bank of England, with its compara- tively limited capital, and with its multifarious responsibilities, State and otherwise, should have the same directing power over the currency that it had some quarter of a century ago—even as- suming its right of direction at that distant period. The expansion of capital, and its in- creased productive power, by the establishment of new companies; the addition to our industrial force generated by the augmented dividends of the new banks, and the profits earned by the large discount establishments, would imply the necessity of some change, some modification, in the system which presumes to regulate our monetary affairs. Let us illustrate our propo- sition by a few figures, which are the symbols of highly important facts. For example, we may take the banking and discount companies, several of which have but recently sprung into existence. A careful analysis of the share-list shows us that there were for some years established:— No. Nom. Cap. jSanking companies 26 X31,100,000 While the new banks number 47 ■ ^851,000,000 To these must be added the new credit and discount, t "0 companies competing with banks, in so far as they lend money and receive deposits 24 34,150,000 j Augmented competition 71 XS5,750,000 these figures establishaninereaseof 275 per cent. on, the nominal capital employed a few years ago. The premiums, too, on these new companies amount to upwards of XI,0,000,000, a sum almost equal to the whole paid-up capital of the joint stock banks' preceding the recent expansion and development of those establishments; yet the capital of these numerous bankers and discounters is mainly con- trolled by the Board of the Bank of England; and a single turn, on any Thursday, of its well-known H screw," will either augment or diminish the value of that capital, as though the Bank's regu- lator were endued with unerring sagacity, and the most prudent, practical foresight. The recent ad- vance of the rate of interest to 4 per cent, by the Bank, and the comparative torpidity which pre- vails in all monetary circles fully confirm this view of the case. Let us, however, turn from disquisition upon the Bank of England, and the power it at present possesses, to an illustration of the great success which may be obtaiaed under joint-stock manage- ment, despite the adverw influence of the Bank. The iiaJf-yearly meeting of the proprietors of the London and County -Bank has just been held, and StE. account of its stewardship during that period is faithfully given. It appears that-after pay- ment of all charges, interest, to customers, and making ample provision for bad and doubtful debts—the net profits of the bank amount to £ 106,821 3s. Id., which, added to X18,629 12s. 3d., brought forward from the last account, makes a total of £ 125,450 15s. 4d. for appropriation. The directors have accordingly declared the usual dividend of 6 per cent., with a bonus of 9 per sent., making together 15 per cent. for the half- year, which will amount to £ 111,790 8s. 4d., and leave-Xl3,660 7s. to be carried forward to profit and loss account. The Atlantic Telegraph Company, the fluctu- ation of its shares, and the uncertainty of the cable, naturally attract a great deal of attention both within and without what may be termed the speculative world. To speak with brother Jonathan, at the rate of four words per minute, through a medium which lies upwards of two thousand miles under the depths of the Atlantic will be a feat of no ordinary accomplishment. What the poet ^dreamt m the vividness of his brain, the hard-headed mechame has nearly hammered out on the anvil of his mind-he, and not the poet, will, in all probability, be the first to "Waft a sigh from Indus to the Pole." Coming, however, to the < £ s. d. view of things, it is necessary to remark that the company's pre- ference shares at one period fell to 3 discount on £:> shares, but on the receipt of more hopeful news (no news at all) they have recovered to 2| to 2 dis. Telegraph construction shares have re- ceded to I discount. Two of our great railway companies have just had their half-yearly meetings, and have declared dividends, which show some improvement as com- pared with preceding statements. The London and North-Wesrern Bailway stock is officially announced at 6 per cent. per annum, carrying forward a balance of £ 10,711 Is. 6d. The London and Soutb-Western Railway announce a dividend at the rate of 41 per annum, leaving a balance of < £ 746. The London and Blackwall Baiiway stock is also officially announced at the rate f 31 per cent, per^ annum, against 3| for the corresponding period of 1864, The unfavourable half-yearly re- port of the Midland Railway has caused a fell in its stock of fully 1 per cent. The demand for Money remains quiet, though the supply of available capital has been coaeideT- able, and little business has been done 4 per cent., even in the hefit short-dated paper. On the Stock-Exchange the rate for loans is frccaa 3l to 4 per cent,; and the joint-stock and disoamffli houses are allowing the first 3 per cent, deposits, and the latter 3 per cent. on money [t call. The London and Westminster, howew, allows 2 per cent, only on sums below £ 560, Finance and Credit shares show strength. Im- perial Mercantile Credit, 1:1: to f prem.; (leaersd Credit, Ii j London Finance, 63 to f prem.; and Credit Foncier and Mobilier, 3 to -1 prem.; Inter- national, | to 1 prem. Tie shares of Oreread, Gurney, and Co. are 2 to 1 prein.; Three Cent. Consols, 89t. 4

Money Markar.;'

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