The causes of the failure of Overend, Gurney, and Co.
are becoming clear. It is ,a.very bad business. The old firm which sold the business was simply insolvent at the time ; the new Com- pany trusted four directors ; those directors took over some five or six millions of securities without „going through them or calling in an accountant, or, so far as we can make out, giving the new shareholders any inkling of the true state of affairs. Indeed they probably had none themselves. The old partners have sacrificed vast wealth in the effort to fill.up the gulf, but after sacrificing the half-million paid for their good-will, nearly a million and a quarter which stood to their privateeredit on the books, 650,0001. obtained by sale of their estates, and a million and a quarter more which will be obtained, there will still be a deficit of 700,0001. The liquidators do not expect to save more than 100,0001. of the paid- up capital, and it may be doubted whether, when all liabilities have been met, the shareholders will escape .without further and very heavy calls. If a State Treasury were to do business in this style, take over millions of paper property on the guarantee of sellers who could hardly help thinking that paper good, we should never hear the last of official imbecility.