Assorted historical stuff:
Editorial: Today is the anniversary of the US Constitution's completed drafting in 1787. This formed the foundation of our government, one so stable that we take it for granted even as many others around the world have been overturned or are trembling. A simple look at the prices of some government bonds shows some of the consequences of instability; even in Germany bond prices declined after the election although “the well-informed felt confident that the good sense of a majority of the people would prevail, and the government live.” Many other countries that should be among the richest in the world are instead among the poorest due to instability. The US has the best credit in the world because of the faith that, while the government may be adapted or changed it is fundamentally secure.
Although women head some sizeable companies, they are nonexistent on boards of directors of largest (NYSE-listed) corporations - this despite the fact that women form a majority of shareholders of many of them, including the Standard Oils and Penn. Rail, and that unlike US elections where women only got the vote 10 years ago, they've always been able to vote their shares. “Mrs. A. Barton Hepburn” has now become the first woman director of a Wall Street bank (the Industrial Banking Corp. of America). She plans to start a Women's Bank, with board and executives exclusively women, not as “poseurs” or “wonder objects,” but “practicing banking in the straightest and strictest ... sense.” This recalls a previous exchange between Henry Clews who said women could never approach the “efficiencies” of Jay Gould, to which Carrie Chapman Catt retorted “Mr. Clews heroes are safe ... Women, on their own initiative, are investors, not gamblers.”
O. Caldwell, Electronics editor, says “vacuum or electron tube” will be third great electric revolution following Edison's incandescent lamp and Westinghouse's introduction of alternating current. Greatest benefit to utility industry will be transmission of direct current over existing high tension lines, allowing 3 - 6 times as much power. Use of tubes also greatly reduces size of equipment; “a vacuum tube switch the size of a gallon bottle” can replace a 2 - 3 ton oil switch the size of a room.
British Columbia forests have yielded some impressive flagpoles in the past few years, including a 177-foot pole cut from a 236-year old Douglas fir, tapering from 31 inches at the base to 9 3/4 inches on top, and a 241-foot pole shipped to the Kew Gardens in London.
Market wrap: Bears, encouraged by 5-day downtrend, continued attacks. Large offerings of major industrials thrown on the market, including US Steel, American Can, Westinghouse. However, good support came in on declines, and attempts to bring out liquidation failed. Short covering and some intermittent rallying began after noon on announcement of gain in exports, and rally intensified in last hour after sharp upturn in grain markets. Technicolor down again on weakening of trend to color films. Bond market moderately active; foreign govts. higher, particularly German; US govt. down slightly; high-grade corp. strong.
E. Grace, Pres. Bethlehem Steel, sees steel prices “slowly but definitely turning upward.” Reports indicate larger steel companies are making a determined effort to stabilize prices and end discounting. Companies have discussed the price situation informally, and it's believed that if one large company took the lead in raising prices the others would follow. Much will depend on whether orders show expected seasonal improvement in the coming weeks.
There has been disappointment about slowness of the business recovery, but economists point out this is typical of previous recoveries from severe depressions.
Many are now watching unemployment closely, including BLS Aug. report of 1.6% decline in industrial employment and 2.6% in wages. Reversal in this trend would be considered very encouraging.
Recent banking trend has been to higher deposits, higher investments and flat to lower loans (commercial and on securities).
Economic news and individual company reports:
Freight loadings for week ended Sept. 6 were 856,637 cars, down 15.8% from 1929 and down 127,867 from previous week due to Labor Day.
Pres. Hoover reports exports in Aug. were about $300M, up $38M from July; imports were about $217M, down $3M.
Canada Premier Bennett announces extensive new tariffs; industries protected pledge to hire 25,000 workers and not raise prices. Duties on agricultural products greatly increased; also affected are textiles, autos, and farm implements. Revenue Min. Ryckman attacks US govt. for helping producers to dump products, says duties will be based on cost of production of similar goods plus a reasonable profit margin.
Sarasota, Florida sued by holders of defaulted bonds seeking court control of city finances. Miami Mayor Reeder proposes state takeover of local obligations.
Call of the Flesh, with Ramon Novarro. Story is more interesting than Novarro's last film In Gay Madrid, though “title is just as ridiculous.” Plot concerns efforts of cabaret singer Juan de Dios to enter grand opera, and to leave old sweetheart “for a charming runaway from a convent.” Film mixes light comedy with pathos, culminates with hero singing the refrain from Pagliacci.
+ The Boring Stuff: