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It will be seen from this comparison that the expansion up to the last date given had a specie basis, and that the banks in the aggregate are in a very safe position.
We have spoken of the ease in the money-market in its influence upon the banks themselves, and through them upon the community. It has also a direct influence, which is more palpable. The facility with which capital can be obtained encourages speculation in stocks, always to be deprecated when carried on with borrowed funds, because this foundation is sure to fail when most needed. It also encourages overtrading, and imprudent enterprises are undertaken by the over-sanguine, who need the restraints of greater scarcity to keep them within proper bounds.
There have been a very large amount of new bonds, principally in aid of various railroad enterprises, sold throughout the country since the first of the year, but the market does not appear glutted, and fresh supplies are daily offered. The Legislature of Wisconsin have resolved to submit to the vote of the people of that State a New Banking Law, making such bonds, under certain restrictions, a basis for banking. This is a departure from the policy pursued in most other States, which have enacted General Banking Laws, and is regarded by many as a dangerous experiment; still the privilege seems to be carefully guarded, and may prove beneficial. Wisconsin has been deficient in enterprise, and the indus try of the people has hitherto been confined within narrow channels. Of late, however, the evils of such a restrictive policy have become apparent, and some efforts are now making to promote a spirit of enterprise which shall take a wider range. The State is rich in soil, and its natural resources, when fully developed, will make it one of the richest in the galaxy of Western lusters.
The cheapness of breadstuffs is becoming more and more felt in the increased demand for our great Southern staple. Notwithstanding the increased exports of cotton, prices abroad seem steadily increasing, and there are no indications of an overstock, even with the large crop now going forward. This stability has relieved the South of many embarrassments, anticipated toward the close of last year, and if continued until next fall, must give us a very prosperous trade throughout the whole of next season.
The cotton spinners throughout our country are realizing the improved state of things we pointed out in our December review. Prices of cotton fabrics are firm, and for most staple goods steadily tending upward, while the stock is not too large to be easily managed under a prosperous trade. The woolen interest remains depressed, but with more encouraging prospects. Some of the old schemes have been abandoned, and new projects of greater promise substituted. The increased supply of gold from California and Australia has alarmed the
timid, lest our currency should become depreciated, and writers upon political economy are again busy, each recommending his sovereign remedy. If Congress would interrupt the present course of political discussion, and pass Hunter's bill, establishing gold as the sole standard of value, and accommodating the publie with silver change, we would be willing to allow the harmless fulminations of writers upon the currency to pass for what they are worth. The increased business of the country will absorb all of the capital which can be supplied, especially if offered at a low rate of interest.
The surplus produce of the West will soon be largely drawn upon if the general prosperity of the world continues; the comparatively low rates at which breadstuffs have ruled for the last year, have given an impulse to all other productions, and must ultimately react favorably upon the market for cereals. We annex a statement of the deposits and coinage at the Philadelphia and New Orleans Mints for the month of April:
The total deposits of the precious metals at both mints from January 1st to May 1st amount to a little over $16,000,000; the receipts for May will swell the amount to $20,000,000; and about the 1st of June a large increase may be expected, if the advices from California are to be credited.
The imports into the country from foreign ports for April are about the same in amount as for the corresponding period of last year. At New York they show a falling off in dutiable, and an increase in free goods-principally tea and coffee.
IMPORTS ENTERED at New York from foreign ports during the moNTH OF APRIL. Entered direct. Ent'd wareh'se. Free goods.
The above table includes only the goods received from foreign ports, and embraces all the arrivals at the port. A portion of the receipts are reshipped from warehouse, so that they do not enter into the consumption of the country. The
amount actually passed into consumption, however, is larger than the total received, as the stock previously in warehouse has been drawn down closer. This is owing to two causes-the new construction placed upon the warehousing act by the Secretary of the Treasury, whereby merchants lose the privilege of selling their goods in this market if kept in warehouse over one year—and the fact that more are required for consumption, the total receipts for the spring trade being much lighter than for last year. The following will show the comparative amount which entered into the channels of trade during the month. The item noticed as withdrawn from warehouse embraces only the withdrawals for consumption; those withdrawn for reshipment are given in the exports on another page:
IMPORTS THROWN UPON THE MARKET AT NEW YORK DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL.
It will be seen that while the amount thus passed into consumption during the month is larger than for last year, it is less than the total for April, 1850. This is chiefly owing to the fact that a considerable portion of the gold which crossed the isthmus in that year, was entered here as arriving from a foreign port, while since November 1st, 1850, it has all been classed as domestic produce, and has not been entered among the imports. The total receipts of foreign goods since January 1st are much behind the amount for the corresponding period of either of the last two years, as will be seen by the following comparison:
TOTAL IMPORTS ENTERED AT NEW YORK FROM FOREIGN PORTS FOR FOUR MONTHS ENDING APRIL 30.
The above exhibits a decline in the imports at New York since January 1st of $7,654,228 from the corresponding period of last year, and of $1,246,053 from the amount for the previous year. Of the decline from last year, $2,939,868 were in dry goods, which have fallen off all through the month of April, being $271,295 less than for April, 1851, and $1,607,599 less than for April, 1850, as will be seen by the following comparison:
IMPORTS OF DRY GOODS AT THE PORT OF NEW YORK DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL.
IMPORTS OF DRY GOODS AT THE PORT OF NEW YORK FOR THE MONTHS OF JANUARY,
Total entered at the port.......
$22,398,370 $26,410,993 $22,561,973
The receipts for duties continue to show a decline from last year, although larger than for the corresponding period of 1850:
The exports have largely increased from any former year except the last, when they were swelled by the high prices of cotton:
EXPORTS FROM NEW YORK TO FOREIGN PORTS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL.
Taking the whole four months together the shipments from New York show an excess over any former year, except in the item of specie:
EXPORTS FROM NEW YORK TO foreign porTS FOR FOUR MONTHS ENDING APRIL 30.
We continue from last month our table of the exports from New York to foreign ports of some of the leading articles of domestic produce, from January 1st to May 15th:
1851. 1852. 4,318 Naval stores.... bbls. 128,012 154,371 208 Oils-whale....gals. 509,266 22,465
1,233 150,584 1,180 112
13,469 Tobacco, crude. pkgs. 8,124
209,581 Do. manufact'd...lbs. 1,388,578 1,343,743 3,719 Whalebone...... 482,254 111,162 438
On the whole, the exports of produce exhibit a gratifying increase, even from the large total for the four-and-a-half months of last year; but this increase is ehiefly in breadstuffs and cotton, the shipments of oils and provisions showing a marked decline. The exports of domestic cottons have also largely increased both from Boston and New York, as will be seen by the following comparison: EXPORTS OF DOMESTIC COTTONS FROM JANUARY 1ST TO MAY 20TH.
During the month the shipments to California have largely increased, and our trade with the Pacific has assumed a more profitable character. Freights have advanced, but a large amount of merchandise is still offering, and unless the San Francisco market should become glutted, the shipments are likely to continue, as orders are received by each steamer. The emigration to California from the West, which threatened for a moment to check the rapid growth of some of the new States, is still active, but the places of the gold-hunters are filling with new recruits from Europe, and the country is likely to suffer no lack of the needful bone and sinew to urge on its career of greatness.