15 APRIL 1938, Page 32


Is this recovery, or just another of those short-lived rallies which periodically interrupt, without reversing, a downward trend of markets ? Frankly, although it is still a little early to express any confident opinion, I feel personally that the possibility of a genuine improvement in business and in stock markets can no longer be dismissed out of hand. On the political front Mr. Chamberlain predicts an early and worth-while agreement with Italy, which would surely be a real contribution to appeasement. From the business front we have news, still rather scrappy, of a fresh experiment in pump-priming by the Washington Administration.

At the moment it is difficult to decide how much of Wall Street's newly-found enthusiasm must be ascribed to malicious joy at the Senate's rebuffs to the President and how much to expectations that some good may come from the latest plans for attacking the depression. The really important point, however, is that some measure of hopefulness has been restored to the American business scene. As every- one knows, America is a country of quickly changing ten- dencies, and although I feel that the slump there has now gone deep enough to require a good deal of curing, I have not yet abandoned all idea that a recovery trend, once estab- lished, could acquire considerable momentum. With the Budget looming ahead, speculative markets here are not likely to move ahead rapidly, but modest purchases of depressed commodity shares might be considered in the light of the prospect of a gradual improvement in American business.

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