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Title Author Date Theme Subject. Director, Division of Analysis and Research. Federal Reserve Bank of- Chairman. Williams 4 George W. J W White B. Johnstone 5 John S.
Federal Reserve Notes
Rich D C Biggs R. Young 0 M Atteberv W. Ramsey John Perrin J. Day Ira Clerk 6 C. Stewart 6 ‘ On leave of absence. Federal Reserve Bank of— New York: Memphis eli Little Rock branch. Federal Reserve Bank of— Manager. El Paso branch Houston branch W. Portland branch Cederal Lake City branch.
Seattle branch Spokane branch C. It is printed in two editions, of which the first contains the regular official announcements, the national review of business conditions, and other general matter, and is distributed without charge to the member banks of the Federal Reserve System.
The second edition contains detailed analyses of business conditions, special articles, review of foreign banking, and complete statistics showing the condition of Federal Reserve Banks. Single copies will be sold rederal 40 cents. Foreign postage should be added when it will be required. Remittances should be made to the Federal Reserve Board.
Review of the month Business, federa, and finance, November, Condition of wholesale trade Production of knit goods Production of finished cotton fabrics Federal Reserve banking during Recent monetary and exchange developments in India Leei fallowed by city banks in granting accommodation to correspondents Fluctuations in loans and discounts of 11 banks of New York City, The investment trust as a channel for investment abroad Official: State banks and trust companies admitted tp system Charters issued to national banks Fiduciary powers granted to national banks Rulings of the Federal Reserve Board Law department: Retail trade index Foreign trade index Wholesale prices abroad Wholesale prices in the United States Discount and interest rates prevailing in various centers Physical volume of trade Debits to individual account, November and December Discount and open-market operations of the Federal Reserve Banks Operations of the Federal Reserve clearing system Resources and liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks Federal Reserve note account Condition of member banks in selected cities Imports and exports of gold and silver Estimated stock of money in the United States Foreign exchange rates Discount rates approved by the Federal Reserve Board.
The month of December has been an exceptionally important period in Treasury Treasury finance. These certificates were issued under the same general terms and conditions which had prevailed in previous issues, the rate of interest being 5f per cent for the 6-month and 6 per cent for the month maturities. The outcome of the transactions of the Treasury, in so far as their effect upon banking is concerned, was not materially different from that which has existed at previous quarterly periods when income and excess profits tax installments were received.
Owing to the existence of commercial and financial depression, difficulties were encountered by some individuals and business establishments in obtaining the funds with which to settle their last installment of taxes due to the Government. One result of this situation was an increase in borrowing at some of the banks, while in other cases securities were disposed of for the purpose of obtaining funds with which to make settlement with the Government.
This latter factor tended to produce much heavier fedsral on the stock exchanges of the country for a few days prior to December Incidentally pei tendency of the operations connected with or growing out of Government financing during the month was to render the money market rather more stringent than would otherwise have been true. The developments during the months of November and December have Future policy. It is evident that the Nation has practically reached the close of the period of post-war financing and that from this time forward excess-profits-tax receipts are likely to be much less than heretofore.
Revision of the excess-profits tax has been recommended to Congress for some time past. On the other hand, the continued existence of a large volume of outstanding floating indebtedness maintains the Treasury Department as a continuously influential factor in the money market. Further reduction of these outstanding certificates is, however, as the Secretary clearly points out, entirely dependent upon the maintenance of ” adequate revenues from taxation ” and ” rigid economy in expenditures” on the part of the Government.
The near approach of the date when the Victory notes will become due and payable tends moreover to emphasize still further the necessity of a far-sighted policy in connection with Treasury finance in order that the volume of obligations to be met may not become fedral. As the Secretary states in his report: Earlier plans and expectations were disarranged by the unexpectedly large burdens placed upon the Treasury by the transportation act. According to the estimates, there will be paid on account of the railroads during the current fiscal year dederal a billion dollars, of which over millions has already been called for and paid.
Added to these expenditures are large payments to the railroads on account of the settlement of matters arising under Federal control. It is obvious that these payments limit the progress which the Government had expected to make in the retirement of the floating debt. It is expected, however, that perhaps the heaviest payments on account of the railroads will have been completed by the spring of next year, and then for the remaining months of the fiscal year the Treasury looks forward to a more rapid reduction of the floating debt.
By the end of the fiscal year, in the absence of unforeseen contingencies, fedearl floating debt should be brought considerably below two billions, perhaps to as low as a billion and a half. The balance should be retired during the fiscal yearexcept such an amount as it may be necessary to keep outstanding in order to avoid money strain in connection with the quarterly payments of income and profits taxes and to finance the Government’s current requirements in the intervals between the heavy tax receipts.
By the end of the fiscal year the Victory loan should also have been reduced by at least a half billion dollars as a result of sinking-fund operations. In this way and through further sinking-fund operations it should be possible to reduce the Victory loan so that at maturity it would stand at about three billions of dollars.
On this point the Secretary says: There is no certain means, however, of predicting the course of business or of incomes and profits, and it is eli certainty that tax receipts even under existing law will not keep up to the level. There are also frequent efforts by extraordinary measures, like the soldiers’ bonus, to bring about a radical increase in fdeeral.
The country at times is being encouraged to expect a reduction of taxes. Revision of taxes should federao effected. There can and should be a better distribution of the tax burden.
Unwise ldi should be eliminated. But any scheme which would after this fiscal year yield for several years to come less than four billions of dollars would be incompatible with safety and sound finance.
Immediate measures of revision were outlined Government securities, also loans and other investments, held by member banks, monthly, Fordney, chairman of ths Committee on Ways and Government bonds and Paper collatMeans, to which reference was made in the All other securities, eraled by Last Friday in— loans and exclusive of Government investments. The banking significirculation securities.
As federall by F i n a n c e and very decided progress during the quoted figures there has been a marked banking. This decline in the case of ness, equally leii progress has been the member banks alone amounts to about made in eliminating from our banks holdings 29 per cent of the amount held last January.
The condition of affairs in in the case of paper collateraled by Governthis regard is well worthy of special note. In ment securities, which has fallen off from the the following tables are presented the positions peak point of last January in a proportion equal both of Federal Reserve Banks and of the to about 27 per cent.
Government securities, also discounted and’purchasedpaper, Summed up, therefore, the results of the held by 12 Federal Reserve Banks, monthly, It is not in the banking business and should not be. It is borrowing money periodically to meet current obligations at a cost of about 6 per cent. It was clearly desirable that war agencies should cease to function as quickly as possible. The only power of the corporation which had any possible federak on the situation is leo which was inserted after the armistice with a particular possible state of facts in view.
Fearing that with the cessation of exports for military purposes after the armistice exports might not go federla, Congress empowered the corporation, in order to promote commerce with foreign nations, to make advances under certain conditions.
Federal Reserve Notes | FRASER | St. Louis Fed
The War Finance Corporation had no money of its own. It or the Treasurv would have had to borrow the money, and Borrow it at a cost of about 6 per cent. We realize that it is best for the producer, best for the consumer, best for the banking interests, and best for the railroads. Suppose an entire crop which takes the better part of a year to produce, a staple crop, should be dumped on the market in the course of two or three weeks or a month or two.
The result would be that the pressure of the volume of that commodity, no matter how great the demand for it might be, on the market at one time would depress the price for it. It would tax the banks to furnish the money in advance of the consumptive need for the crop, and it would also tax the warehouse capacity, and the railroads would be burdened in furnishing transportation facilities.
I would regard as an ideal condition the steady movement of a whose products could not be satisfactorily six months, thus causing no strain on anybody marketed and whose prices were falling de- and giving oei producer the benefit of fedwral manded that the Treasury intervene.
Well, I do not see anything to “Neither of these things was feasible. The do in such cases but to arrange for renewals Treasury had no money to lend and no money on the best terms possible. But there are the past few weeks in connection with two proposals. These are 1 federa, there be a restoration of the activity of the War Finance Corporation and 2 that direct assistance be given by the Government or by Federal Reserve Banks to interests 71166 are suffering from reduction of prices of their products.
The “revival” of the War Finance Corporation would be expected to result in the granting of export credits by that organization, the purpose being to take off accumulated surpluses of cotton, grain, and other items and to place them at the disposal of foreign countries in which a shortage of raw materials had developed, although there exists there abundant labor power for the working up of the raw materials into finished products.
The idea of a grant of direct Government loans or, what is the same thing, of loans made by the banks upon the strength of Government deposits left with themor of easier rediscounts furnished by Reserve banks, has for its object the enabling of producers to withhold their goods from the market pending the time when prices of such commodities succeed in reaching a higher li.
These plans have resulted in the resolution adopted by the Senate on December 13 and by the House on December 18, the resolution being sent to the President on December 19, vetoed by him on January 3 and passed by the Senate over his veto on the same 716. Prior to the action of Congress hearings had been held by the Senate and House Committees on Agriculture in joint session, at which the views of the Secretary of the Fedeeal and the Feederal of the Federal Reserve Board were heard.
The reason for looking with disfavor federsl the idea of reviving the War Finance Corporation was feceral by the Secretary of the Treasury in the following language used in his annual report and repeated in substance to the congressional committees: There have been a number of variants of the plan suggested in the congressional resolution to which reference has already been made.
One of these is seen in the proposal to advance funds to Germany in an amount equal to the holdings of former German property in the hands lie the Alien Property Custodian, the proceeds of the credit to be used in the purchase of cotton, grain, and other products.
Some similar demands have been made in connection with plans for financing goods in warehouses. All such proposals tend to increase the amount of. They thus not only reduce the amount of goods to feederal the consumer has access but they also tend to reduce the amount of fluid credit which can be used lej the purpose of promoting active business enterprise.
As pointed out by Governor Harding in his testimony before the Senate committee, there has been no reduction in the total amount of credit available in the country at large. The question at issue, therefore, is simply how the volume of credit already existing shall be used—whether it shall be used for the financing of new production, the maintenance of institutions which are actually disposing of goods and facilitating their movement from producer to consumer, or whether it shall be used for the purpose of withholding goods from the market or possibly of shipping them to foreigners who are not now in position to settle for them through return shipments.
As to this latter point there should be no misunderstanding. It is not only desirable but practically essential that satisfactory arrangements be made for the financing of a legitimate and reasonable export trade, such Digitized for FRASER http: Louis action facilitating, as it necessarily will, the restoration of industry abroad and consequently the eventual liquidation of the claims which we now hold upon foreign countries.
Such long-term advances, however, should be financed through the agency of actual investment credits provided by the placing of bonds or other evidences of indebtedness in the hands vederal individuals or institutions who are in position to supply the funds that are needed to “carry” these obligations until their foreign recipients are able to settle them.
Subsequent to the opening of Congress at the beginning of December, bills affecting the functions or policies of the Federal Reserve System were introduced.
Among them was Senate bill No. Le bill having been brought to the attention of the Federal Reserve Board with a request for an expression of its opinion, the Governor of the Board on December 16 addressed to Hon.