The New popular currency of the United States.
The Federal Government having been driven to every expedient for the purpose of raising the wind, it is amusing to see now its apologists and champions at the North
cry up every new experiment, albeit from each hollow scheme, each lower deep, they sink into a ‘"still lower deep"’ of pecuniary desperation.
The ‘"new popular loan"’ is the latest wrinkle, on which the Herald
harps as follows:
The Secretary of the Treasury
has already issued Treasury notes, without interest, of the denomination of five and ten dollars, to the amount of several millions.
These notes are payable on demand at any of the Sub-Treasuries of the United States
, are popularly known as ‘ "demand notes,"’ and are everywhere seized upon and used by the people with great avidity.
The act of Congress under which these notes are placed in circulation authorizes their issue to the amount of fifty millions of dollars, and at the assembling of the next Congress this amount will probably be increased to one hundred or one hundred and fifty millions.
We shall thus inaugurate, and, in effect, shall really have — a National Bank, established upon a basis universally popular and incontrovertibly sound, safe, and healthy.
That these notes are sufficiently secured, no one can for a moment doubt.
The issues of our very best banks are now secured by the deposit of United States
stocks, and if these stocks are good securities, then the demand notes of the Government
which issued these stocks are also good.
But about this there is no question.
The people must lose confidence in the Government
notes; and of that loss of confidence there has thus far been not the slightest indication this side of the Atlantic
, As far as security goes, therefore, these demand notes excel the issues of our very best banks, and completely out-rival the issues of any of our banking institutions whose circulation is guaranteed only by State stocks, or by investments in real estate
, or in the stocks of various railroad, mining or other corporations.
In a word, the country is responsible for the payment of its demand notes.
Nor is the superiority of the Government
demand notes over those of our banking institutions less apparent when we consider them as a circulating medium.
The issues of our Northern banks amount altogether to about one hundred and fifty millions of dollars.--Now, of this sum not more than twenty-five millions are circulated at par, and the remainder of this large issue is subjected to a discount of from one to ten per cent. Besides this, bank notes which are perfectly good in one State, are either largely discounted or are entirely valueless in another State; and thus we have the necessity of frequent exchanges, and of a great crowd of bill and exchange brokers, who reap fortunes from the evils of our banking system, as many worse people do from the evils of humanity.
A national uniform currency, like these demand notes, obviates all of these evils at once.
The notes pass at par anywhere within the United States
, and thus there is no necessity for discount or discounters, exchange or exchange brokers.
Indeed, when the system is fairly tested, we apprehend that there will be no difficulty in using these notes, instead of specie, for foreign payments.
The necessity of such a national currency is felt here, but it is still more evident in some of our Western States.
, for example, the bank issues were very generally se-
cured by deposits of the State
stocks of seceded States.
Those have of course depreciated largely, and are in some cases entirely worthless.
The consequence is that the banks of Illinois
have been obliged to wind up their affairs and stop business, and the State
is left almost without a currency.
drafts, payable to order, have been circulating there for some time, and, instead of being presented to the Treasury for payment have passed from hand to hand as money, until their backs and faces are severed with endorsements, and they are almost equally valuable as drafts and as autographical collections.
The evils of this want of a recognized currency, of large discounts and of frequent exchanges, these Government demand notes remedy, and it is no wonder, therefore, that they have become so very popular, and are in such great demand that they may be called ‘"demand notes" ’ in a double sense.
The full amount of fifty millions should be issued as quickly as possible, and when Congress meets this amount should be largely increased.
Thus we shall have a National Bank without the disadvantages and drawbacks of the old, unpopular system, and with all the advantages to the Government
and to the people of a recognized, reliable, national paper currency.