chapter  Chapter IV
9 Pages

The Increase of Speculation in Stocks and Shares

ByRobert E. Wright, Richard Sylla

The excitement which most men feel in gambling in one shape or another leads to its being practised to a very large extent, in spite of legal prohibition and the vigilance of detectives. One inevitable evil attending all forms of commercial prosperity is that they are built up in so large a degree upon a basis of unremunerative speculation. The public securities quoted in the bourses of Europe at the present time amount to thousands of millions sterling more than existed a quarter of a century ago. The sharp little panic which broke out on the Vienna bourse in April, 1873, was due to the too heavy superstructure of the new, and much too rapid, reared recklessly upon very slender foundations. Some little sympathetic effect was produced at Berlin, where considerable inflation also existed as a consequence of the activity in commercial affairs, which followed the large war indemnity payments made by France.