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A Practical National Marketing Organization and Rural Credits System for the United States

A Practical National Marketing Organization and Rural Credits System for the United States

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Excerpt from A Practical National Marketing Organization and Rural Credits System for the United States: Addenda to a Hearing Before the State Department, June 21, 1915

These people, in depositing, are thus lending their money to the savings banks, and are, therefore, money lenders. Now a few of these depositors may be insignificant factors in a bank's capital, but supposing these few are multiplied up to several thousands? In that event they are no longer insignificant; they have become important.

Now, then, assuming that we have Landschaft bonds of, say, $10, $20, $50, and $100 denominations, at the same rate of interest that the banks pay; that these bonds are as safe as United States Government bonds; that we give the people the choice of either lending their money to the banks or investing it in these Landschaft bonds; which of these two, then, would they prefer? Clearly these bonds. Why? Because savings banks sometimes fail, but a bond equal to a United States Government bond could not fail.

Now, then, if it can be shown that a long-time Landschaft bonds can be made as safe as a United States Government bond, it would show that Mr. Anderson was mistaken when he said "such bonds would not sell in the open market."

It is now in order to show how long-time Landschaft bonds can be made as safe as United States Government bonds.

This is indisputably shown by the fact that 50 and 75 year Landschaft bonds have held their own with Government bonds in Germany during the past 152 years, and are holding their own to-day. In fact, they are more than holding their own, for, according to the testimony of Prof. Brodnitz, of the Halle University, these Landschaft bonds are even now holding their own in Germany in the face of the great war going on.

Why is this the case? For several reasons:

The Bond, Its Security.

First. Because a Landschaft bond, say, for $100 has behind it the security of the entire Landschaft; of property that may be worth $5,000,000 or more.

Second. The title of the borrower's land must be unquestioned, as unquestioned as a United States land warrant would be.

Third. The borrower, in signing his mortgage and receiving the bond, has given the Landschaft directory the power of a judgment in the event of a foreclosure.

Fourth. There are three several appraisements in which the quality of the land, its character and incidence, its mode of cultivation, and its earning power are minutely entered into.

Fifth. The borrower cedes to the Landschaft directory the right of maintaining the same status of its cultivation throughout the life of the bond.

Sixth. The loan by the Landschaft is always made upon the average earning power of the land, never upon its speculative value.

Is it not, therefore, obviously clear that a bond on this basis, of that kind, would be as safe as a Government bond?

"Well," says the objector, "all this may be good enough in Germany, but it could never be expected to work here."

Why not, pray?

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