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HE EDITORIAL REVIEW is
high-class journal of original thought and the medium for the selection and
presentation of dominant editorials of
the daily press, thus denoting the
views of different sections of the country.
It appeals to those who desire information on questions of high particular and general import. It is a class publication for those who wish to keep pace with every important movement in current general history
UNDER the same conditions that have fostered the creation of Trusts in the industrial world, we have today a group of men in possession of a financial Trust, composed of a combination of Banks, Trust Companies and Insurance Associations all welded. together by either personal or legal control, which places them in a position of unlimited power. The evil arising from this condition is only dimly apparent to the general public, and is scarcely appreciated by even the bankers in this country. In emphasizing this evil, it is felt that a public service is rendered, inasmuch as this statement may stimulate the discussion and inquiry necessary to help in correcting the great danger which faces the American people as a consequence of private interests commanding the distribution of money—a greater danger than the control of specific articles of commerce.
Money is the blood of commercial existence-one of the compelling forces to which all events must bow, the necessary element for life, good morals and happiness,-so far-reaching in its power and effects that the control of any or all of the articles of trade and commerce is as nothing compared to the control of a fraction of the country's gold.
The danger lies not in the individuals who today have striven to reach that position, and who are partially succeeding, but in the fact that the country can not afford to have any of its resources so managed as to make individual power supreme. The plans before Congress for monetary reform, and the recommendations of individuals and of associations do not clearly indicate a method of eradicating the evil. This can be partially accomplished by supplementary legislation, which, among other restrictions, shall make illegal the lending of funds to any individual or corporation in which any officer or stockholder of any institution is directly or indirectly interested.
This one provision added to our present laws, which limit loans to directors and amounts to individuals, would destroy,
for the present at least, the incentive to control, and would leave the monied institutions to invest properly in the business of the community and not in the operations of its favored owners, and if new conditions of danger arise, legislation to correct the same will be enacted.
To leave. conditions where they are today, fostering the growth of a centralization of the control of loanable funds, is more far-reaching than the creation of a feudal business system which is the inevitable consequence of such centralization. It accentuates an economic unrest which forces socialism into anarchism. It would undo all the good work accomplished by the government in its campaign for limiting the power of railroads and of commercial corporations.
The great force moving throughout the world, seeking to uplift the poor and to curb the rich, is the present intellectual form of the identical force that has overturned Empires in the past and was the French Revolution of our era, a force that at any moment may break the bonds of reason and develop the "beast" that lies dormant in every human being. The intelligent government regulation, giving every citizen an equal opportunity, is an intellectual progress guiding and controlling the tremendous pressure which the "struggle for life" forces the masses. to exert in reaching out for a betterment of their condition and to wrest from the wealthy that wealth which is unjustly theirs.
During our short existence as a Republic, that has stood as a haven for the oppressed, where every man is said to be equal and entitled to life and happiness, we have had formidable problems to face. So far we have solved them all except onethis one is the economic question underlying the curtailment of that "equal opportunity" for which this country was established. Whatever errors are committed in the attempt to curb undue power in the hands of any of our citizens they count as nothing compared to the overwhelming collapse which surely will follow should the control of the government fall into hands venal or unwise enough to favor a factitious prosperity based on the great wealth of a favored few and the submissive condition of a dependent multitude having food to live but no opportunity to rise.
A Decade of Banking Progress, by Lawrence O. Murray, is a pleasing and systematically ordered presentation of the last ten years' advance in United States banking. Mr. Murray is Comptroller of the Currency, and consequently the statistics, comparisons, and views in this article are of the most authoritative character. The outlook for the future is most optimistically pictured. This contribution and that by Mr. Austin in the present number tell a story of wonderful progress that should make all true American citizens proud of their country and confident of its financial soundness. By the admirable retrospect of the last decade and the able review of present-day conditions, the reader will be able to form a better and more comprehensive idea of how this country stands from a banking point of view, than through any other source of information. The banking power of the United States has doubled since 1900 and is four times. what it was twenty years ago. It now represents two-fifths of the banking power of the world, and an amount of money equal to that of the United Kingdom, France and Germany combined. Mr. Murray writes interestingly of our stock of gold, the resources of the banks, and of their geographical distribution that makes the financial standing of each section of the Union. He surveys the healthy banking conditions of today and the future prospects, which augur an unexampled growth in national prosperity.
Panama Canal Regulation of Commerce, by Lewis Nixon discusses the question of the proper and equitable tolls that should be levied on the different nations using the Canal when it is officially opened as a world's highway of commerce and inter-relation. Mr. Nixon, who has studied the question at first-hand, and who contributed to the January (1910) number of THE EDITORIAL REVIEW an illuminating article "Peace with Safety-The Fortifying of the Panama Canal"-compares the Suez and the Panama Canals, pointing out that the cost of operating the latter must be paid by
taxing either the United States or those who use the waterway for commerce. He explains that recently there has been a greater enlightenment among the people in regard to the terminating of treaties and to discrimination exercised in certain cases. Mr. Nixon emphasizes the dependence of this country on foreign ships for exchange of commodities, and that in the next twentyfive years of expanding trade with other nations this dependence will be more and more felt. The United States will indeed be reduced almost to the position of producers and consumers and thus enrich foreign peoples by its payment of charges on our $300,000,000 commerce abroad. This leads him to deplore the apathetic attitude of public men toward the rehabilitation of our merchant marine-in his opinion one of the most momentous problems that confront the American nation today.
A European View of Trusts, by Prince Orazio Di CassanoZunica, discusses from a psychological, rather than from an economic or legal standpoint, the question of trusts, that is today receiving so much attention from thoughtful observers and public administrators in the United States and other countries. The prince has devoted himself to the cause of peace and the furtherance of international law,-is Chairman of the Congress for the Federation of Europe; founder of the Italian Institute of Social Coöperation, and a member of the Executive Committee of the American Society for the Settlement of International Disputes. In this article he voices a sentiment that has gained much strength in Europe and that finds many supporters on this side of the Atlantic, namely, that for the evils attending Trusts remedies might be devised more beneficial to the people than the policy of breaking up active businesses on a large scale on the ground that they are monopolizing trade, for such combinations, if disrupted, could remove to other countries, thus continuing the attendant evils. It is pointed out that under various guises monopolies have existed for many centuries, and that where municipalities own and operate railroads and other public service utilities, there is little advantage to the public, for high rates are charged. Attention is drawn to the differing views held by Europeans and by Americans on the uses of money, and some novel aspects of American financiering and wealth accumulation are presented as arising therefrom. The conclusion is that, in general, Trusts have promoted industry and commerce; have introduced scientific business methods that have stood the test of