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Littell's Living Age/Volume 132/Issue 1701/Miscellany

The Silver Market. — The Economist observes: The silver market will in future, like all other markets, have to secure its stability by keeping a "stock on hand." Dealers will hold for what they think a good price, which will usually prevent an extreme fall of price, and get rid of more or less of this accumulation when there is an unusual demand, which will commonly prevent an extreme rise. But a great number of causes as yet prevent the dealers from doing so. The rise in the price of silver which has just taken place is as local as the fall which preceded it. The great mass of prices in the countries using silver as a money are wholly unaffected by it. Indeed, such perturbations as a rise of 20 per cent, and then a fall to the old level, during a single year in the general prices of great countries, would have been economical phenomena such as the world has never seen, and such as would have caused a vast derangement of transactions. The silver market must settle down into its normal condition before we shall know what will be the normal price of silver in relation to gold or to commodities. The disturbing forces, with which we have had so long to deal, must first pass away. And until they have so passed it will be desirable that no government shall involve itself in a currency change, depending on the relative relations of silver and gold, which has not begun one already. Unless in case of vital necessity, such currency changes should be made at the time when the circumstances attendant on them can be best foreseen, and that is when the course of trade is most regular, and the markets most important in the matter most in their normal condition.