Little Chance of a Panic
Wall Street Men Rely on the Country’s Prosperity.
NEW YORK, Sept. 6.—The
news of the shooting of the President reached the Wall Street district
long after the close of business on the exchange. It was not generally
known much before 5 p. m., by which time the newsboys were shouting
the extras of the evening newspapers. The majority of the Wall Street
brokers had already left the financial district, many of them to
go out of town, intending, in view of the inactivity of the stock
market, to remain away until Monday. This was also true of a great
many prominent bank officers.
But there was great scurrying among
partners and clerks in brokerage houses and financial institutions
who were still at work there to send off telegrams to the absent
ones, telling of the bad news, and the probability is that when
business begins in the financial district tomorrow all the Wall
Street men who went out of town will be on hand.
All sorts of opinions were expressed
in financial circles this evening as to just what effect the shooting
will have on the stock market. These opinions were largely based
upon the severity of the President’s wounds. It was admitted, of
course, on all sides, that the effect upon the stock market prices,
because of the shock given to confidence, could not help but be
bad. Wall Street men who have been holding bearish views for some
time as to the stock market’s future were very positive in likening
the situation to that in 1881, when President Garfield was assassinated.
That assassination occurred after a great boom in the stock market
and with the shock to confidence that the shooting gave a period
of declining prices set in.
Such bank officers as were still at
their office were positive in their statements that the banking
community was in very sound condition and well prepared to stand
anything that might come. The country, they pointed out, was extremely
prosperous, and they said they looked for no general panic. The
banks, they said, would certainly stand together should there be
any necessity for united action.
Tomorrow’s stock exchange session
will be a short one—only two hours, and as it is not customary for
loans to be called on Saturdays the call money market is a nominal
one merely. By Monday there will have been time for calm consideration
of the situation.
One of the first men of prominence
to receive the news of the shooting of the President was J. P. Morgan.
He appeared astounded when a reporter told him at 4:30 o’clock of
the attempted assassination. Twice he asked if the news was authentic,
and he also asked if the condition of the President was serious—information
that the reporter could not then furnish positively.
Mr. Morgan was on the point of leaving
the office of J. P. Morgan & Co. at the time to take a carriage
which was in waiting. His son-in-law, H. L. Satterlee, happened
to be passing the office, and Mr. Morgan beckoned him to come in.
With Mr. Satterlee he retired to an inner office. He left the office
about 5 o’clock, Mr. Satterlee driving away with him. Before he
went away Mr. Morgan was asked whether he would make a statement
regarding the financial situation as affected by the shooting of
the President, but his reply was: “It is a very sad thing. I have
nothing to say now.”
James R. Keene, who is generally credited
in Wall Street with having been the chief bullish manipulator during
the great boom that preceded the Northern Pacific corner and panic
of May 9, and who is understood to have had charge of the support
given to United States Steel shares during the strike, when seen
at the office of his brokers, Talbot J. Taylor & Co., expressed
great sorrow at the news but would not make a statement, only to
“What can I say at this time, when
not possessed of the full facts?”
James Stillman, of the National City
Bank, had left his office early before the news came from Buffalo.
When seen at his home, 7 East Fortieth Street, last night, Mr. Stillman
expressed his grief and remarked:
“The country, however, is in such
a magnificent condition as not to be dependent upon any one man’s
Other prominent bankers declined to
say anything for publication as what would be the effect upon the
stock market. There were reports circulated late in the day that
some of the prominent financial interests might meet before the
stock market opened tomorrow, for the purpose of uniting upon some
plan, should the necessity arise, for protecting the prices of leading