Assorted historical stuff:
US has about 6% of world population and 6% of total land area, but currently has 76% of world's cars and trucks (34.9M), 58.4% of telephone and telegraph wire in use (122.3M miles), 67.6% of petroleum output (1.489B barrels/year), 48.8% of copper production, 58% of corn, 56.6% of cotton, and 35.9% of coal.
Sen. Reed (R., Penn.) seeks to suspend new immigration to US for 2 years starting July 1, 1931, to prevent unemployment.
F. Goodenough, Barclay's Bank chair., urges industrialists campaign for war debt revision; if not cancelled, should at least be adjusted based on commodity prices.
Editorial: W. Johnson has pointed out the huge growth in govt. payrolls to where they now include one of every 10; “Reducing the thing to an absurdity one might visualize the day when each and every one of us would be a govt. employee.” While Mr. Johnson's suggestion of reducing govt. payrolls by 25% may seem badly timed, he's undoubtedly referring to “holders of the so-called 'gravy' jobs”; these wouldn't need to “take to apple-selling. They could exist on their surplus fat.”
One man's proposal: Selling apples on the street may be a good idea to relieve unemployment, but switching to bananas might be even better: “Just think what this would lead to. Everywhere banana skins would be strewn. The [city] would have to hire extra help to clean things up. People would slip on peels, bruising themselves, tearing their clothing .... Lawsuits would follow; lawyers would have more cases. Tailors would have more ... jobs, physicians would become busy, ... Prosperity would come slipping in on a banana skin. ... But, seriously, how about a change of diet? I, for one, can't look an apple straight in the face any longer.”
US Lines plans to build two new 50,000 ton liners - to be fastest afloat and equipped with catapult-launched planes, enabling 3-day transatlantic mail service.
3,563 “Gold Star” mothers [who lost a child in the war] visited France in the past summer; Congress appropriated $5.7M to pay for costs of the pilgrimage.
Market wrap: Stocks presented a mixed picture. Sugar shares rallied on news of producers conference, as did mail order cos. on improved sales. This strong response to good news, as in yesterday's rally in rails, was taken as encouraging evidence of market technical strength. However, main body of stocks was highly irregular; US Steel weak, but generally majors traded in narrow range and volume declined on recessions. Bonds moderately active, irregular; US govts. strong; foreign mixed, South American and German weak; corp. quiet, rails steady, convertibles mixed.
Week in review: Stocks continued uptrend, interrupted only by brief technical reactions; buying reported by powerful banking interests and by those reversing previous tax sales. Bond market featured strength in US govts; foreign govts. were irregular, mostly reactionary; corp. bonds were mixed. Spanish situation unsettled. Rumor of large French loan to Britain dismissed. Money markets remained very easy; banks increased investments and loans on securities. More optimism on steel industry. Cotton down moderately. Sharp break in wheat prevented by aggressive Farm Board action.
Mark C. Steinberg & Co. believe “investors will resume the practice of several years ago of buying 'values' among common stocks instead of 'names.'”
Internat'l Harvester commended for statement that current dividend was safe; leading observers say similar announcements by other cos. would be beneficial.
F. Godber, Royal Dutch Shell dir.: oil industry at crossroads, further production cuts needed to avoid continuation of current unprofitably low prices, “ruination of thousands of producers, destruction, and waste.”
S. Strawn, Montgomery Ward chair., says current of M. Ward's business improving, “we are beginning to feel a change in the public apathy towards buying.”
Jack Warner, VP Warner Bros., says industry faces year of prosperity in 1931, W.B. will produce record high of 70 films together with First Nat'l. Pictures.
Atlanta Fed. Reserve Bank Gov. Black reassures on “fundamental situation” of Southern banks; they have $10B in reserves, tangible wealth of South over $80B.
W. Persons, formerly of Harvard and Amer. Statistical Assoc. pres., gives “convincing array of evidence” that “business recovery is in prospect and should be in progress by spring.” Argues that level of economic activity 20%-25% below normal, as observed in previous depressions, is “bed-rock below which depression did not go.” Careful survey of conditions shows “the stage is fully set for a business recovery.”
Economic news and individual company reports:
BLS reports index of 550 wholesale prices in Oct. was 82.6 vs. 84.2 in Sept.; farm prices declined 4%. Retail food prices declined 0.9% from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, and 10% from Oct. 15, 1929 - Oct. 15, 1930.
Irving Fisher's index of 200 commodities for week ended Nov. 21 was 80.8 vs. 82.2 previous week and vs. 92.2 a year ago.
Arkansas state banking dept. took control of 30 suspended banks. Over $5.5M of Tenn. state funds tied up in closed banks; Gov. Horton denies malfeasance.
Youngstown District steel operations down 6% to 46% this week. Steel cos. in district still expect increased auto steel demand.
Commerce Dept. dispatches from agents abroad report improved business stability in almost all commercially important countries. Foreign credit and collections greatly improved in past few months due to seasonal business and trade revival; bankruptcies down.
Negotiations for unification of NY City transit lines resume after brief hiatus when transit cos. reject city's final offer.
Sweet and Low - revue presented by Billy Rose. Some good music and acting, though “most of the comedy is of the low order.” “Fannie Brice is best in a Spanish-Jewish song 'I Knew Him Before He Was Spanish,' accompanied by dancing with castanets.” George Jessel appears as a foreign professor showing a series of stereoopticon slides of American advertising slogans. Paula Trueman acts amusingly in “Ten Minutes in Bed,” referring of course to “those last few moments in the morning before a girl dashes off to work.” High point for many will be Borrah Minevitch's harmonica band.
“Blonde Waitress - I have stewed kidneys, boiled tongue, fried liver and pig's feet. Brakie - Don't tell me your troubles, sister, give me a chicken pie.”
+ The Boring Stuff: