Source: Washington Times
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Little Chance of a Panic”
City of publication: Washington, DC
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 2660
|“Little Chance of a Panic.” Washington Times 7 Sept. 1901 n2660: p. 3.|
|Wall Street; stock exchanges; McKinley assassination (impact on economy); J. Pierpont Morgan; J. Pierpont Morgan (public statements); James R. Keene; James R. Keene (public statements); James Stillman (public statements).|
|James A. Garfield; James R. Keene; J. Pierpont Morgan; Herbert L. Satterlee; James Stillman.|
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 say:
“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 life.”
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 stocks.