Wednesday, June 13, 2012

January 10, 1912, Hawaiian Star / Associated Press Cable Briefs

January 10, 1912, Hawaiian Star / Associated Press, Securities Believed To Be All Right
NEW YORK, January 10. The vaults of the Equitable Life building are still a furnace, but it is believed that the $75,000,000 collateral contained in them is safe. Steady streams of water are still being poured upon the ruins.
The Star credits the statement of the Equitable agents here that the mass of the securities were not kept in the vaults of the destroyed building. Difficulty in finding the officers of the company, who were burned out, may have kept the Associated Press in New York from official knowledge of this fact.
Does this statement seem to indicate that the securities weren't kept in the 120 Broadway building at all? Did the AP report indicate that they had been destroyed, and that the local informants were contradicting a mis-informed AP?

The Jan. 10, New York Times editorial, "The Equitable Fire," actually got it quite right:
It is a cause of congratulations, first of all, that the enormous mass of securities belonging to the Equitable Life Assurance Society, amounting, it is said, to some $300,000,000, were preserved from destruction within the great safe built for their keeping some years ago. There is great satisfaction, too, in the assurance given by Presidant DAY that the records of the society, which hardly could be replaced, were some time since removed to another office.
But you do realize what this means don't you? The Equitable's magnificent headquarters had been emptied of their most important day-to-day business essentials. This might serve as sufficient evidence of foreknowledge for even the most credulous sycophants.

Carnegie For Aldrich Plan,
WASHINGTON, D. C, January 10. Andrew Carnegie, the steel king, testifying before the committee that is investigating the steel trust, denounces the present banking system as a disgrace to civilization. He urges the adoption of the Aldrich plan for a new monetary system as a remedy for existing evils.

Nelson W. Aldrich's Wikipedia entry says that as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Aldrich "dominat[ed] all tariff and monetary policies in the first decade of the 20th century," and that as Senator he "was a party to" the restructuring of the American financial system through the institution of the federal income tax amendment and the Federal Reserve System. Of course, his daughter, Abby, also married John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the only son of John D. Rockefeller.

His Wikipedia entry goes on to say: "In 1907, J.P. Morgan published rumors that the Knickerbocker Trust Company was insolvent. Some later historians believe this was a deliberate act of market manipulation which precipitated the Panic of 1907, and consolidated the preeminence of the banks controlled by Morgan.[5] The panic itself led to the passage of the Aldrich–Vreeland Act in 1908, which established the National Monetary Commission, sponsored and headed by Aldrich. After issuing a series of 30 reports, this commission drew up the Aldrich Plan, forming the basis for the Federal Reserve system."

Harriman Loses Records in Fire,
NEW YORK, January 10. The Harriman records containing the names and addresses of 40,000 stockholders have been lost in the fire in the Equitable Life Assurance building here.

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