The proposed Convention of bankers.
The great problem of this war is the financial one.
The oldest and best banker, and the ablest financier in Virginia
— we might say in the South
--is reported as saying that he sees the way clear through this difficult problem.
A convention of the bankers of the South
has been called and will soon meet at some eligible point.
It will be one of the most important convocations that the exigencies of the war has called forth.
Money is the sinews of war, and this convention will meet to deliberate on the high question of money.
This is certain, that there is no lack of the values in the South
which command money.--The problem will be how best to make these values available.
The single article of cotton presents an ample basis of value to support the whole cost of the war. The export of this crop last year to foreign countries amounted to $191,802,000. There were also taken for home manufactures 450,000,000 of pounds, worth $57,500,000. So that here is a value to start with worth within a fraction of $250,000,000. Our exports of other articles last year were, of
|Molasses and Sugar||1,370,854|
Besides this list, sent to foreign countries, we have all the articles which we have been in the habit of selling to the North
, which did not enter into the tables of foreign commerce, amounting probably, exclusive of cotton, to at least a hundred millions of dollars.--In short, the values held annually by the South
for exportation to Europe
and to the North
are not short of four hundred millions of dollars, of which two hundred and seventy-five or three hundred millions are articles in such demand abroad as to be always equivalent to gold
Here is a basis of cash values which certainly ought to sustain any system of finance which the emergencies of the war may call into requisition; and the problem for the convention of bankers is, so to utilize these values as to render them available for the purposes of the war. Happily for the cause of the South
, there will be no question whether
these cash products of the South
can be used for the public benefit.
Our cotton, rice, and sugar planters have long ago put that question to rest.
They have said to the Government
, ‘"take our crops; use, employ, convert them in any way you think best for the cause; we place them entirely at your disposal."’ The Government, therefore, has only to take such portions of these crops as it may require for its purposes, giving receipts for the number of pounds taken, as evidences of indebtedness for future settlement.
The financial convention has therefore no problem before it for solution, except the single one how
to utilize the values thus placed at the public disposal.
Probably no country was ever before so fortunate as the South
in the possession of resources of credit so intrinsically valuable and so readily available for the purposes of finance.
We expect an easy and perfectly satisfactory solution of this most important problem of the war, from the assembly of financiers about to be convened.
The resources we have enumerated are those which the South
possesses over and above the ordinary ones which belong to her in common with all other nations.
She has, besides these extraordinary values, her vast landed estate, her personality, and her representatives of wealth in all its ordinary forms.
She has her five hundred millions of acres of land, sixty millions of them improved; worth twelve hundred millions of dollars.
She has personal property in various forms worth a thousand millions of dollar, exclusive of the value of her four millions of slaves.
Had she no cotton, no rice, no tobacco or naval stores, no export values which all the world is eager to purchase with gold, she would still possess resources equal to the demands of the most costly and protracted struggle.
If, therefore, the recommendations of the financial convention about to meet be wise, and they be adopted by the Confederate
and State Governments, we look for no trouble in solving the financial problem of the war.--Public debt will certainly have to be incurred; but the war will be a blessing to the South
, competed with the weight and cost of that commercial dependence and financial vassalage to the North
, which the South
has been groaning under for fifty years. The war itself will not cost more while it lasts than that vassalage would have cost the South
during the same period.--We save by non-intercourse what we expend for the war. The drain under the vassalage left penury and paralysis behind; the war will leave independence, wealth, and blooming prosperity.
Capital, by hundreds of millions, will then resort to the South
Enterprise will take up her abode in our land.
Wealth and industry will spring up in the propitious atmosphere that will then surround them as our luxuriant vegetation grows up under the genial influence of the Southern