Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: A Senate committee has been investigating campaign expenses of Mrs. Ruth McCormick, a Senatorial candidate. Mrs. McCormick retaliated by herself investigating one of the Senators, hiring a detective agency for that purpose. The Senator described McCormick's investigation as “shoddy, scabby, unprincipled, unconscionable, contemptible”; this may indicate he has lost “the fine judicial poise that befits the toga.” Public sympathy is mostly with McCormick, thanks to the Senate's tactics in previous investigations, including treating witnesses arrogantly, taking private papers unconstitutionally, and making their contents public.
Editorial: Real estate owners are organizing to reduce local tax burden. Real estate taxes have always been major part of local taxes, but some states including New York and Massachusets have now adopted an income tax as well; curiously, the new tax, “though it has raised much money, has not materially reduced the tax on real property.” New York state is now organizing a bipartisan commission to study whether a sales tax can be applied to relieve the real estate tax.
International Law Assoc. recommends to world govts. that contracts between residents of countries at war should be dissolved at outbreak of hostilities.
“New York's tiny housekeeping apartments of today are nothing new under the sun. In London, following the Great Fire of 1666, vast numbers of families were obliged to live in one room and two room apartments.”
New York city has 20,000 postal employees handling daily 300,000 sacks of mail totalling 17M individual pieces.
Construction of 30 “baby” blimps 100 feet long by 25 feed wide with capacity of up to 8 people started at US Navy hangar in Cape May, NJ.
Audo-Cinema contracts to help wire 1,000 Soviet movie theaters for sound films; currently only one theater in Moscow is wired.
Generally dull session; volume down, little public participation, leading stocks traded in narrow range. Bears attempted to extend late market break Wednesday into yesterday's session, but no liquidation was forthcoming and buying support came in on setbacks. Some declining tendency in final hour. Banks and trusts weak. Bond market more active; utilities higher, Dow bond average at new 2-year high of 97.27; govts. mostly firm except South American.
Market technicals seen favoring higher prices; most recent rally recaptured all of ground lost in break from July 28-Aug. 12, first time that happened since current bear market started last Sept. However, period of consolidation is logical considering swiftness of the advance since mid-August.
Conservative observers more cautious, noting failure to break through July resistance level about 241. C.O.'s also inclined to wait for actual business improvement before taking long positions.
Positive sign seen in increasing savings deposits and increasing number of shareholders in large corporations; this indicates continued “prosperity for many in a period of depression,” since they mean a surplus left after expenses.
Goodbody & Co. expresses some conservativism about business recovery; says will be gradual, may only be seasonal. However, because of amount of liquidation already and professional nature of market, “we doubt whether much of a decline will take place from the present level.”
J. Mills, Pres. Natl. Purchasing Agent's Assoc., advises Pres. Hoover he believes business will be slow during winter but turn up in late winter and spring.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Census finds most of unemployed concentrated in big cities; those with population over 100,000 had proportion of unemployed about 50% over US as a whole.
June gasoline consumption in 44 states was 33.331M gallons/day, up 2.418M from May and up 2.005M from June 1929.
US and Canada Aug. car production hits new 1930 low of 240,100 vs. 272,551 in July and 512,842 in Aug. 1929; first 8 months was 2.843M vs. 4.445M in 1929. Little prospect seen of upturn for next few months; car industry seems determined to hold output down to finish clearing out old inventory this year, then make “new start on its next era of prosperity,” though inventory is quite low already; upturn expected in 1931. Normal market demand seen as about 4.6M cars/year.
Many large companies seen able to maintain dividends due to huge surplus accounts built up in past.
August customs collections were $32.1M vs. $56.4M in 1929, but increased from July.
Companies reporting decent earnings: Canada Dry Ginger Ale.
“'I want a very careful chauffeur - one who doesn't take the slightest risks,' warned the would-be employer.
'I'm your man, sir,' answered the applicant. 'Can I have my salary in advance?'”
+ The Boring Stuff: