The Yale review (v. 14)
Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC
By: George Park Fisher
Excerpt from book: THE PRICE OF SILVER. A LTOGETHER unusual causes have brought about the .. further decline since 1893 in the gold price of silver, and produced the marked instability that to an ever increasing degree characterizes that price. Their true nature may hardly be said, in spite of the prominence and pressing interest of the subject, to have yet been correctly appraised. Although the historical facts are become by this time well worn from repetition, yet in order to arrive at a properly coordinated view of the field of cause and effect, it is necessary to go back and examine the statistics of both of the precious metals since the middle of the century. It will also be advisable to study with some care the nature of the existing demand for silver, and the prevailing conditions under which silver mining is carried on in the main regions of supply. Several factors combine, as will be shown by this analysis, to make the price of silver depend upon the unstable equilibrium of forces whose balance is exceedingly delicate. More than this, it will become clearly evident, as the analysis proceeds, that with the year 1893 the white metal, whether it be viewed from the standpoint of demand, or of supply, or of its relations to gold in other and subtler directions, experienced a radical revolution in status. Since that date the price has stood upon a peculiar basis, subject to controlling influences of a different character from those that prevailed up to that time, and quite unlike those obtaining in the case of any other of the world's great staple products. This peculiar basis will determine, so far as can now be foreseen, the entire future history of silver. At the present moment a proper appreciation of its abnormal nature is essential to an intelligent consideration of the important prob...