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A SILENT PANIC

WAR AND FINANCE. Those who expected scenes of wild excitement on the Stock Exchange yesterday must have been astonished at the deadly calm which brooded over Throgmorton street (says a Home paper, just before the declaration of war). Within the House there was a complete absence of everyday din. Immediately markets opened dealers, by mutual consent, decided to cloeo their books. It was only possible to deal in the few most active descriptions— including, of course, Consols—and even then dealings were a matter of negotiation. This accounts for the remarkably wide prices quoted. Consols at one time being called nominally 69-711 The Government broker, however, came to the assistance of the market, and the price rallied to 71, showing a loss of J on the day. Other markets were to all intents and purposes non-existent. Members stood about listlessly, and for an hour and a-half hardly a sound was heard. Even the practical joker was infected by the spirit of calm dignity which happily provided such a striking contrast to the scenes reported from some of the Continental Bourses. The Stock Exchange had not been open long when two failures were recorded. Before 3 o’clock no fewer than seven defaults altogether had been announced. At 3 o’clock cheers were given in the House—cheers of thankfulness that the “hammer” could not descend again. —Happenings in Berlin.— The list of catastrophes which these terrible days are bound to bring opens today with three suicides (says a Berlin correspondent). In consequence of his losses, which in the first three days of the crisis amounted to £13,000, Herr Eugen Biebcr, a well-known Potsdam banker, committed suicide with his wife during the night. Another well-known banker, Herr August Saal, of Weimar, whose bank is well known and trusted throughout Thuringia, committed suicide also last night. To-day his bank is closed. About a dozen jobbers and small jobbers and small private bankers were suspended to-day, but the only grave failure was the Korddeulsche Handelsbank, of Geestemuende. Unfortunately, others are sure to follow suit, as the settlement will prove disastrous. The Imperial Bank Commission meets to morrow to decide upon the raising of the bank rate, and a council of great banks is sitting virtually in permanence. To-day the council sent out summary injunctions to its branches to discontinue payments in gold beyond 10 per cent, of the drawings, and in no case more than £SO in gold. The. managers were also instructed to take precautions against customers shutting up gold in safe deposits. —Anxiety About Food.— Long queues waited outside the Imperial Bank to-day demanding gold for bank rotes. In many cases it was necessary to wait from two to three hours before their turn came, bat at the present moment the gold reserve is very strong, a-nd is believed to be adequate for all emergencies. The Reicbshank to-day was celling London cheques in large quantities. Already the price of provisions is beginning to rise, especially on the frontiers. There is considerable anxiety re garding the corn and flour supply, but as Germany has not yet begun her annual exportation of food cereals, especially rye, she is not considered to be in a disadvantageous position. At Saarbruecken and elsewhere near the western frontier there is a run on all provision stores, customers in wild anxiety seeking to purchase stores of flotir, dried peas, potatoes, etc. Dealers were soon sold out, the goods being literally torn from their hands. Salt has already run up to 5d per lb. —Panics on the Frontier.—. Along the western frontier the panic rose to its uttermost, as the military guards began to be posted to command the bridges. 'The large German towns have already begun attempts to secure stores of provisions. Breslau Town Council voted £250,000 yesterday for this purpose, and Berlin has been buying huge quantities of flour and cereals, such as could be brought into the city in a few days by water. The city of Berlin requires about 14,000 sacks of flour (rye and wheat) per day, whilst at the moment there are not more than 180,000 sacks in the city, and dur- • ing mobilisation it would be difficult, if 1 not impossible, to bring in more, as ill the fines will be immediately occupied by troops. ‘in a recent calculation by Professor Balled it was estimated that inudstrial Germany would be faced by famine prices within a few weeks, whilst within a year the consumption of meat and milk will Ja flint,

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141024.2.24

Bibliographic details

A SILENT PANIC, Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914

Word Count
748

A SILENT PANIC Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914

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