Chapter 4 Part 4

Stock-jobbing Icon

September 9, 2015

The practice of stock-jobbing is the buying stocks by time.

It also has a very big influence on the rise and fall of stocks. A man who only has £1,000 subscribes for £100,000, which is delivered=

  • at several fixed times, and
  • in certain portions.

He hopes to sell these portions at profit by the rising of the stocks before they fall. But since his worth would go down if the stocks fall, he does everything to make them rise. He spreads reports at Change Alley that=

  • victories are gained,
  • peace is to be concluded, etc.1

On the other hand, those who want to buy a stock want it to fall. They propagate reports that will sink the stocks as low as possible, such as=

  • the continuation of war
  • the planning of new subscriptions, etc.

Because of this, our newspapers during wartime are filled with invasions and schemes that never were thought of.

In the language of Change Alley, the buyer is called the bull, and the seller the bear. Stocks rise or fall as the bulls or bears predominate

This practice of buying stocks by time is banned by government. Accordingly, though they should not deliver up the stocks they have engaged for, the law gives no redress. There is no natural reason why £1,000 in the stocks should not be delivered, or the delivery of it enforced, as well as £1,000 worth of goods.

But after the South Sea Scheme, this was thought on as an expedient to prevent such practices, though it proved ineffective. In the same way, all laws against gaming never hinder it.

There is no redress for a sum above £52, yet all the great sums that are lost are punctually paid. Persons who game must keep their credit or else nobody will deal with them.

It is the same in stock-jobbing. Those who do not keep their credit will soon be=

  • turned out, and
  • called lame duck in the language of Change Alley.

It is unnecessary to give any account of particular funds, as they are all of=

  • the same nature, and
  • equal security.

If the interest is not paid by the funds allotted for that purpose, it is paid out of the sinking fund. The sinking fund is the surplus fund of all the rest. There is perhaps some small difference in the facility of payment.

But it=

  • is not considerable, and
  • does not merit our attention.

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