Publication information
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Source: Commercial and Financial Chronicle
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial column
Document title: “The Financial Situation”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: New York, New York
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: 73
Issue number: 1890
Pagination: 524-27 (excerpt below includes only page 524)

“The Financial Situation.” Commercial and Financial Chronicle 14 Sept. 1901 v73n1890: pp. 524-27.
McKinley assassination (impact on economy).
Named persons
William McKinley.


The Financial Situation [excerpt]

     The whole character of the situation has again been changed by yesterday’s developments in the President’s case. Previously the accounts regarding Mr. McKinley’s condition were all encouraging in the extreme. Last Saturday, very naturally, while the public mind was still suffering from the first shock caused by the news of the attempted assassination, and when it was not yet possible to venture a definite opinion as to the probable outcome of the attack, the markets were deeply disturbed. On the Stock Exchange a severe break in prices occurred on that day, but the effective way in which banking and financial interests had planned to provide against possible contingencies served to prevent disaster or anything akin to a panic. Between that time and Monday the developments were so satisfactory and the accounts so optimistic that stock prices Monday opened at a sharp recovery and the market remained firm throughout the day. After that the news became more cheerful each succeeding day. The President was making surprising progress, no unfavorable symptoms whatever had developed, and the outcome hardly any longer seemed in doubt. The Cabinet Ministers and other political celebrities, as well as the Vice-President, spoke in the most confident manner concerning the chances of recovery, and even the physicians in attendance abandoned their customary reserve and stated that all the indications pointed that way. Under this stimulus the tone on the Stock Exchange continued to improve.
     But yesterday morning the daily papers contained the utterly unexpected announcement that the President’s condition had taken a decided turn for the worse, that the food given him the day before had not agreed with him, that the action of his heart was causing the doctors concern, and that altogether the gravest anxiety was felt regarding the outcome. Under this startling intelligence the stock market sustained another violent break in prices—fully as severe as that of last Saturday—the downward movement in the case of Milwaukee & St. Paul stock being accelerated by the action of the board of directors of the company the day before in not raising the rate of dividend on the common shares, as had been hoped for. All day yesterday the advices from the patient’s bedside were very discouraging and at times highly alarming. As against the previous almost positive assurance that the President would get well, the best the doctors would now say was that he still had “a fighting chance” left. The market consequently remained depressed throughout the day. The situation therefore at the end of the week was that things were again decidedly unsettled, with everything depending for the time being upon the issue of the President’s illness, and with his death momentarily expected.



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