Assorted historical stuff:
Leaders of both parties seen against extra session of Congress between Mar. 4 and end of 1931; neither party has effective control, and long period of legislative uncertainty is thought undesirable. However, “insurgents” may be able to force extra session by blocking essential appropriations bills using filibuster.
Editorial by T. Woodlock: Stance of Gov. Roosevelt and Progressives on utility regulation is inconsistent; on one hand, utilities have been strictly regulated because they're “natural monopolies,” but on the other Roosevelt seems to favor publicly owned competition for utilities whenever possible. This seems to “run counter to elementary principles of fair dealing”; if there's to be competition, “neither competitor should be strait-jacketed. Further, there should be a fair ring and referee.”
Editorial: Chinese people have first real opportunity for effective national govt.; “except for still troublesome communistic disorders in the South, two decades of civil war” have resulted in ascendancy of Nanking govt. under Chiang Kai-shek; Washington should extend all possible cooperation on a basis of mutual respect.
Marquis of Winchester estate insolvent; was “premier marquis of England,” chairman of 14 cos. in 1929; estate liabilities about $2.3M, assets $2,500 and car.
Ford plant at Dearborn, Mich. expected to become world's largest consumer of water when new water intake system with capacity of 914M gallons/day is completed - this is more than used by cities of Detroit, Philadelphia, Cinncinnati, and Washington combined.
Newspapermen assigned to Gov. Roosevelt's reelection campaign put together a pool of money to be won by the best guess at the Gov.'s margin of victory. Winner was Roosevelt himself, with the high guess of 437,000, which was still about 300,000 short of his actual margin.
A British tourist agency is running a cruise including the Antarctic, stopping at the Bay of Whales about 700 miles from the South Pole, where Byrd spent 14 months on the ice in 1929-30. Route of the cruise: England, New York, Havana, Panama Canal, Galapagos, Antarctic, Australia, Java, Suez Canal.
Karsten Statistical Laboratory describes machine they're working on to predict “economic tides”; machine has 50 dials, each representing an economic statistic such as call money rates, gold movements, bank clearings, etc.
Market wrap: “Powerful support” by “important interests” for high-grade shares gradually broadened into advances in “a long list of representative shares.” Market showed resistance to bad news for second day; yesterday to wheat news, and today to failure of an Exchange firm. Bear attempt to start reaction around noon fizzled. Major industrials, auto shares, and utilities showed sustained strength; rails, entertainment shares, and some industrial specialties were up sharply. Bond market mixed; US govts. firm; corp. high grade and convertibles strong, second grade weaker; foreign govts. irregular, mostly down.
Advertisement from Saturday Evening Post: “The whole history of Business is golden testimony to the truth that in times like these the seeds of future growth and greatness are ... most enduringly sown. Even now ... the business that are heeding this lesson by working instead of wishing are depression-proof and flourishing ...”
Broad Street Gossip: Some traders are less inclined to buy stocks now than when they were hitting record highs last year. This is human nature, but “the big fortunes have been made by people who accumulated and held standard securities after a prolonged decline, such as we have had over the past 12 months.”
Broad Street Gossip: For the past year, “public men have been giving long speeches” on causes of the depression, blaming “overproduction, silver depreciation, excess speculation, mal-distribution of gold, etc.” If these same people could tell us how to fix the situation, we'd be grateful.
B. Fairless, Republic Steel VP, reports many signs start of a buying movement in steel is not far off.
Economic news and individual company reports:
Maintenance of steel production level considered encouraging, as was pricing firmness on large order from Penn. RR; Iron Age reported demand from auto makers increased slightly, while prospects were seen for better auto and rail buying early in 1931.
NYSE firm Bauer, Pogue, Pond & Vivian suspended for insolvency, causing sharp breaks in sponsored stocks including Bulova Watch.
Executives of Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale, B. Altman's, Gimbel Bros., and many others, unanimously warn NY State tax revision commission that “in their opinion a retail sales tax was perhaps the worst method of tax revision that could be devised.”
Total state bond issues now over $2B, or about $17 per capita, vs. $1.4B in 1923; “burden of taxation may be spread over a long period by issuance of bonds and thereby passing a part of the obligations to future generations, yet it does mean heavy taxes and is a problem ...”; heavy spending on roads, schools, hospitals.
Northern Trust bond review says long term result of gold inflows to US and France will be their assumption of responsibility for providing long term loans to other countries; notes transition of US from borrower to lender since war; says foreign bonds one of safest investments regardless of temporary difficulties.
Smiles - Comedy presented by Florenz Ziegfield, starring Marilyn Miller and Fred and Adele Astaire. “The story brings the Astaires and Miss Miller to the stage with satisfactory frequency ... since these three, together or alone, dance while they sing, perhaps there need not have been all that concern about the lyrics.”
“Rural Doctor (meeting patient) - I've - er - taken the liberty of sending in my little account [bill] again. Patient - Is that so? Well, acting on your advice I'm avoiding business worries for the present.”
+ The Boring Stuff: