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out the profane vulgar: and the not the permanent value of the room into which we were looking, stock-or merely from sympathy both through door and window, with the rise or fall in other stock of was the Stock Exchange. This a similar character. The public has place of business is the property of neither the leisure nor the knowa corporation; and, unlike the Royal ledge sufficient to judge with conExchange, no one can come there to fidence, and is generally more sell or buy unless he be a member encouraged or depressed by the of the corporation. It is for its rumours or facts of the day than own members that the Stock Ex- there is reason to be. All these change reserves all the profits on things the jobber has to take into the traffic which goes on within its account; and as it is no easy matwalls. The business of the stock ter to be a prophet, he must either broker is simple enough, and if he be a lucky or a clever fellow if he have good connections, it is as does not sometimes come to grief. profitable as it is easy. When he Great gains usually alternate with gets an order to execute, all he has great losses in this kind of busito do is to buy or sell at the cur- ness. One would think these jobrent rate. He steps into Capel bers would soon die of worry and Court, and at once finds the dealers anxiety, and often enough they he wants. Every stock-jobber has are to be seen very down-in-thea special line-one deals chiefly in mouth. But Nature is kind, and Mexicans, another in Indian stock, fits the back to the burden. Or and so on; and, moreover, there rather, most of these men have are places in the room where been born with the peculiar temcertain kinds of stock are specially perament of the speculator : they dealt in. The broker finds the have an extra amount of hopejobber, and, after ascertaining that fulness, and get through life, with the terms offered are in accordance more excitement indeed, but hardly with the ruling price, he makes with less equanimity, on the whole, the bargain, and in five minutes than any other men engaged in the business is over. The money, trade. whether given to him to make a The most novel feature in the purchase, or received as the proceeds economy of capital during the last of a sale, passes through the hands year or two, has been the estabof the broker, who deducts from it lishment of great credit-companies. his commission, the cost of stamp The special object of these comor registry, &c. The business of panies is to provide money for carthe jobber is a much more difficult rying out industrial or financial one. He is, in fact, a speculator. enterprises which are worthy of He buys stock in the hope of sell- support. The credit-companies do ing it again at a higher price. It not directly engage in these enteris therefore indispensable that he prises: they simply launch them, should carefully examine the cha- or at least provide the capital reracter of the stock in which he quisite for carrying them on,deals, and the circumstances, charging a commission for their whether political or commercial, aid. One of these, the Internawhich from day to day affect its tional Land Credit Company, is value. He knows that the value worthy of notice here, because its of stock, although substantially de- operations display in a remarkable pendent upon the soundness of manner the system of financial coguarantee and the rate of interest operation which is now being estabwhich it yields, is nevertheless lished throughout Europe, as well affected from day to day by what as the great amount of social good may be called merely moral influ- which may be effected on the mere ences—by passing gleams or sha- principle of self-interest. There is dows, flitting prejudices it may be, no safer security than land; but which affect the popularity though the prime requirement in financial operations is, that the security manage the whole of this part of should not only be perfectly safe, the business, while the Bank furbut readily negotiable. In other nished the funds. This business words, the bonds, representing the proved so profitable, and the field money advanced, should not only be of operations was found to be so certain to be paid when due, but the extensive, that it was resolved to holders of them should be able to invite the co-operation of capitalists sell them easily, or get money ad- all over Europe. Hence the estabvanced upon them. Not one, but lishment of the International Land several financial establishments are Credit Company. The business needed to accomplish these ends on of this company is simply to raise a large scale ; and the International funds for carrying on the highly is the last and crowning company profitable operations above-menof a series previously established. tioned, the money being readily It will deal with land everywhere, obtained from the public upon but at present its field of operations bonds issued by the Company, and is in Austria. In Austria there are bearing 5 per cent interest, and estates of immense size, held by in which are rendered more than usudividual proprietors, many of them ally negotiable, owing to the numheavily burdened with mortgages ber of local land-banks and other contracted on the most usurious financial establishments which are terms. Half - a - dozen years ago affiliated with the International. The some foreign capitalists discerned credit of conceiving so remarkable the fine field that was here open to a series of co-operative companies, them; but before foreign capital to and of successfully establishing it, is a large amount could be attracted due to M. Langrand-Dumonceau, of it was indispensable to establish the Brussels. The security offered is perfect soundness of the security the most complete that can be and the negotiability of the mort imagined :-1. The land ; 2. The gage bonds. The first step towards double amount for which the purthis was the establishment at Vienna chasers give their bond ; 3. The of the Vindobona — a joint-stock capital of the Vindobona; 4. The company wbich, on receiving a per- capital of the Banque de Credit centage or commission, guarantees Foncier et Industriel ; and lastly, the repayment of loans on estates, The immense capital of the Interas well as the regular payment of national. But what is chiefly rethe interest. In this way, the markable, from our point of view, creditor acquired a double security is the system of financial co-opera-- first, the land itself, secondly tion herein displayed - a system the capital of the Vindobona. which is destined to be ere long Next, land - banks were established immensely developed — until, in which advanced money on these fact, Europe shall become but one bonds or mortgages to their full country as regards industrial fiamount_thus rendering them ne- nance, the spare capital of each gotiable. Next it was seen that a country being drawn to common large and most profitable business centres, and seeking the best marmight be carried on by the purchase ket wherever that may chance to and re-sale of estates-purchasing be found. them in block, and re-selling them This wealthy and busy precinct immediately in comparatively small has a literature of its own-jourportions, say of 100 to 500 acres. nals whose special task it is to reTo accomplish this, the Banque de cord its operations and set forth its Credit Foncier et Industriel was condition. But it has more than established, which has agents all this ; for the whole country takes an over Austria, who examine into interest in its bulletins. In all our titles and values, who find out daily newspapers there is a departproprietors ready to sell and small ment of news, never omitted, which capitalists ready to buy, and in fact is scanned with devout attention by hundreds of thousands of readers, Edinburgh, where men live by the yet which is certainly not indebted learned professions only, and who for its popularity to any attractive scorn trade in the old sense of the ness of style or appearance. It is word. In truth, nearly all men in the driest column or columns in this country are traders now, though the paper. It is full of figures, and many of them trade as it were by tables of figures (usually so repul- proxy. The joint-stock system of sive to readers), preceded by a few enterprise has of late years drawn paragraphs, seemingly of a very the whole community into its vorstereotyped aspect, and couched in tex. As a nation, we have grown language peculiar to itself. There- very rich. It is computed that the in we read of “ Consols for deliv. annual savings of the nation amount ery,” “ Reduced and New Threes,” to the enormous sum of £80,000,000. “ Turkish Consolidés,” “ Danish Like thrifty men, we desire to emScrip,” “Greek Coupons,” “New ploy that sum, our spare money, in Granada Deferred," " Spanish Pas the most profitable manner. Now. sives," “ Russian Threes," “ Chil- adays, too, we have the whole ian Sixes," and other such things world open to us as a field of comhard to be understood by the mercial and financial enterprise. In uninitiated, however conversant commerce, at least, nations are now they may be with the grammar brethren. No nation objects to the of Lindley Murray and the Dic- introduction of foreign capital to tionary of Dr Johnson. We develop its resources. These two also read that “ the market is facts—the vast increase of wealth easier," or that it “opened flat," in this country, and the magnitude that it “ assumed a more lively ap- of the field open for its employment pearance,” or that it “ showed a —have given an extraordinary exfalling tendency,” or “great de pansion to the joint-stock system; pression.” This never-omitted and an expansion which has been greatly much-studied portion of the paper aided by the passing of the Limited is the City article, in which the Liability Act. Previous to the health and spirits of the Money passing of that Act, it had been Market are described pathologi- proved by long experience that cally; and the price of stocks and business could be conducted as ably shares, and the condition of all by a board of directors as by a priestablished companies quoted on vate firm. True, the management 'Change, are carefully recorded. A. of a public company is never so single glance at this portion of the economical as that of a private firm, 'Times' will show the magnitude and the supervision of a salaried and variety of the enterprises quoted board of directors is seldom so vigion 'Change. Besides the loans to lant as that of private partners, foreign governments, there are up- whose whole fortune is at stake wards of 600 kinds of stock or in the concern. But, on the other shares in the official list, connected hand, a joint-stock company obtains with railways, mines, docks, joint- the command of a far larger amount stock banks, colonial government of capital than private firms—which securities, and miscellaneous enter- gives it a great advantage ; and, prises.
moreover, in many cases, it is inThe City article is no longer read sured of a large amount of business, merely by a particular class of the in consequence of its shareholders community. All classes, and all being also its customers. Take, for places in the country, have a direct example, the case of a joint-stock interest in the facts which it re- bank. It may have a thousand cords. It is read with interest not shareholders, and all these sharemerely in London, Liverpool, Man- holders are its customers. They chester, Birmingham, Glasgow, and have not only subscribed the the other great centres of industry, capital by which the business but even in uncommercial cities like is carried on, but they intrust all their money to its keeping, and quires many companies and estabget all their loans and discounts lishments to do the work which from it. In this way they make would be more economically perbusiness for it, and at the same formed by one; and it is full of time share in the profits of that social unhappiness, and fruitful in business. They not only get from the bitter feelings of rivalry and it the usual interest on their jealousy, because each establishdeposits, and the usual advantages ment seeks its gains at the expense of monetary accommodation, but of the others. The new system of they share in the profits which arise co-operation, on the other hand, from this form of business.
seeks to unite and fuse into one the The Limited Liability Act has hitherto rival interests of the trader greatly lessened the risk incurred by and his customers, of the consumer shareholders, by limiting the liability and the producer. Take for exof each to the amount of capital for ample the case of a company for the which he has subscribed. Share- supply of gas, or water, or any other holders are now comparatively at necessary or luxury of life, and there their ease. They elect from their you find that a large portion of the own number a Board of Directors, customers are also shareholders. whom they pay for conducting or By-and-by the system will be more at least supervising the business of fully developed, and the social adthe company, and they know that vantages will be commensurately at the worst they cannot lose more increased. Say that a little town is than the sum which they have chosen desirous to supply itself with gas to subscribe. The system, on the or water; then a company will be whole, has worked remarkably well. formed, with a capital apportioned It is also accomplishing a revolution in many small shares, so that nearly in the ideas and financial habits of every householder may be a memour people. It offers a higher rate ber. In this way the company will of profit than the interest obtain- insure for itself the largest possible able upon deposits in banks, and number of customers — opposition thereby more effectually puts an end and jealousy will disappear, and the to hoarding, extends the spirit of en- little community will have but one terprise among all classes, and draws interest in the matter. In like maninto active use the whole spare money ner, also, a town may supply itself of the people. Clergymen, lawyers, with bread, or groceries, or butcherdoctors, noblemen, and tradesmen meat, or any other article for which alike, now become shareholders in there is a general demand. The joint-stock companies. Each, while employés, too, of the company, by pursuing his own calling, invests holding shares in it, may be made his reserve funds in some financial, to participate in its interests, and trading, or industrial enterprise. He to discharge their duties with more thus obtains the profits of another scrupulous diligence than is usually trade while following his own. We to be found in a hireling or salaried are at the outset of a new era in agent. No doubt the time is still social progress, and one which is distant when the system of co-operaprobably the highest to which ma- tion shall reach this development; terial civilisation can attain. It is nevertheless, its coming may be calthe era of Co-operation. Hitherto culated upon. And thus, at the preCompetition has been regarded as sent hour, we are witnessing the the most efficient agent of social initial stage of a principle which will progress. But the principle of com- revolutionise oursystem of industry, petition is one of rivalry and strug- and accomplish results fraught with gle—it is a system of beggar-my- a vast increase of happiness and neighbour-most useful in the ear- prosperity to the community. lier stages of civilisation, but one L arge as are the annual profits of most unworthy of civilisation in its our nation, it seems beyond doubt maturity. It is costly, for it re- that a considerable portion of the immense capital recently invested which the banks lend. Money on in joint-stock companies has been loan, we think, would have become drawn from little hoards, which cheap of late years but for the previously lay dormant. But the great growth of joint-stock compeculiar feature of the new posi- panies. If the great and ever-intion is this—that instead of keeping creasing profits of our people had their reserve funds in bank, men been deposited, as before, with now invest them in joint-stock en- the banks, these establishments terprises, for the sake of obtaining would have had so much money to a higher rate of profits. Banks lend compared with the amount of give a comparatively low rate of securities upon which they make interest, for they have to pay them- their advances, that the rate of selves for taking charge of deposits, interest would have fallen. But and for finding appropriate employ- the new companies have immensely ment for their customers' money. increased the amount of securities But by becoming a shareholder in upon which banks are in the habit a joint-stock enterprise, a man em- of lending ; they have made almost ploys and invests his money with every man a trader, and supplied out the help of intermediate parties, him with a form of property which and hence is entitled to and obtains banks will lend upon; and in conthe profits of trade subject to no sequence of this, inter alia, the rate abatement. It might be supposed of money has not only maintained that, owing to this change, the itself, but has greatly advanced. amount of deposits in the banks In fact, men nowadays keep their would be diminished—and to some reserve funds, not in the banks in extent this will be the case (making the form of money, but in the form allowance for the increasing wealth of bonds, shares, and coupons — of the community); but it must be negotiable when necessary, and remembered that the money thus bearing a higher interest than the abstracted from the banks is in great banks could give. To keep money part returned to them from another in bank (save what is absolutely quarter. The decrease in the de necessary for one's ordinary expenposits of individuals is compensated diture) is now an exploded custom. by the deposits of the new compa- All that we think of commanding, nies. Each company opens an ac- or keeping in reserve, now is, not count with a bank, and deposits cash, but the paper representative with it its spare funds ; so that of property, and the interest which what the banks lose in one form comes to us as the holders of these they gain in another. This change, symbols or title-deeds of wealth. however, is important in one aspect. Strange to say, in this City of Banks do not speculate. They lend Gold, gold cannot be seen. We their money only on the best and know, from official returns, that so most negotiable securities, and ab- many millions of gold lie in the stain from employing it in industrial vaults of the Bank, and we inenterprise. Hence, although they fer that some thousands of soveare of inestimable value in sustain reigns are kept in each of the other ing commerce, they never take direct banks, as small change for their part in the establishment of new customers' wants. But the prebranches of industry, or the devel- cious metal makes no appearance opment of new national resources. in the business transactions of this The joint-stock companies, however, City of Money. Bits of paper, with do this as their general feature, some writing on them, are the poThey make railways, they open tent agents of the scene. Paper, mines, they manufacture gas, and paper everywhere ; but no goldengage in all manner of reproduc- not even bank-notes. Let a man tive enterprise. In fact, the distinc- go to buy some shares. He sees the tion may be stated thus :—The rate they are quoted at, and, going companies make the securities upon into the dingy office of his broker,