Finance—Public & Private
The Investment Outlook
Two dominating facts which emerged from our examina- tion last week of investment tendencies during 1931 were the force of international finance as a market influence, and the depressing effect of uncertainty on practically all security values. Unfortunately, if the experience of the past year in these respects is applied to the possibilities for 1932, it must be admitted that the outlook- is extremely obscure. All the indications at the moment point to the continued disturbance of markets by international finance, and there can be little doubt that while this aspect of world affairs is uppermost in the public mind, doubts and fears will continue to restrict activity and depress the majority of prices. Considered from this point of view, the current year may be said to have made a very bad start, for the Report of the Young Plan Advisory Committee has concentrated attention upon the most prolific source of uncertainty in recent years. The new ground which the Report has opened may eventually lead to a saner view of Reparations and international debts, but the intervening country will of necessity be difficult to traverse.