26 NOVEMBER 1937, Page 36


THOUGH I have counselled safety-first tactics to investors in recent weeks, I must confess to both surprise and dismay at this week's landslide in Throgmorton Street. Wall Street, it is true, has given little encouragement, alternating between a sort of aimless waddle and fresh collapses, and frankly I am not yet impressed by the Administration's policy in the United States. It is all very well to talk of a recovery drive, but that implies co-operation with Big Business and at the moment Washington and Big Business are not really speaking the same language. Meantime,, the steel production figure has established a new three-year low record at 31 per cent. of capacity, and there are very definite signs that unemployment in the U.S.A. will soon be on the increase again. What is to be done ?

Well, desperate diseases call for desperate remedies, and my own view is that President Roosevelt will have to com- promise with his social ideals, not, of course, to save Wall Street but to preserve jobs for the " under-dogs." When a whole nation's prosperity is threatened, it is surely time to soft-pedal on reform and concentrate on stimulating a recovery.

Not until I see some very tangible proof that Washington is prepared to show the green light to private capital shall I advise speculative investors to open fresh commitments. Mean- while, the wisest policy is to keep to the side-lines and await developments.