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Title: Bremen Cotton Exchange - 1872/1922
Author: Cramer, Andreas Wilhelm, 1855-
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Libraries.)



[Illustration: Bremer Baumwollbörse, Bremen.]



BREMEN COTTON EXCHANGE

1872/1922



BY

A. W. CRAMER

PRESIDENT OF THE BREMEN COTTON EXCHANGE



TRANSLATED BY CH. F. C. UHTE, BREMEN

1922
FRANZ LEUWER VERLAG
BREMEN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
COPYRIGHT 1922 BY FRANZ LEUWER
BREMEN

PRINTED BY
H. M. HAUSCHILD · BREMEN

A JUBILEE GIFT TO THE
MEMBERS OF THE BREMEN
COTTON EXCHANGE



FIFTY YEARS.


A period covering 50 years is sure to show to the surviving and the
younger generations certain milestones, which indicate a trend of human
thought, or memorize important occurrences. We may look back upon mighty
wars, or religious upheavals or the cruelties committed in both, or
another may recall the peaceful thrifty life with its underlying
romantic thought.

Later generations may possibly call this episode of the last 50 years
the Period of Economic Development. Every epoch has its dominating
spirit; sometimes it is a God of War, sometimes a religious martyr,
sometimes it takes the shape of a great poet and even the thoughts and
lives of the every-day citizen are the replica of the spirit of its
time.

The embodiment of the spirit of the last 50 years is a Hercules. This
famous demi-god executed 12 wondrous deeds, the names of which were
painfully instilled into us at school, but his mighty deeds made no
impression on the history of his time. Our Hercules has successfully
achieved more than twelve wonderful works, nor need we look far afield
to see the lasting imprint of his footsteps; we have always before us
the great works of our time.

We are the lucky ones, who are privileged to step anywhere on our
northern shore into a carriage, far more commodious than the ancient
stage coach, compose ourselves for sleep, and allow ourselves to be
whirled away, in order to find ourselves the following noon, seated at
a comfortable meal on the heights of the Rigi. We have crossed the
Atlantic Ocean in six days, we talk and listen to a friend, and it is
nothing to us that he is a thousand kilometres distant. By pressing a
button, we illuminate our house, by pulling a lever, we light up a
whole town. From the birds we have purloined the art of flying, and
many other wonders have the past fifty years showered upon us, and yet,
all this is not the real monument of our time, but it is

    "WORK!"

That systematic work, which is sure of its own goal, is the origin of
all the wonders of the past half century, and which has set its own
seal upon the special character of our own time.

If we consider the life of animals and even plants, we find that all
adapt themselves to the demands of nature. This is the original
primitive condition. But already the bird building its nest for greater
comfort and protection of its young, interferes with nature's original
conditions. No doubt, mankind once lived under primitive adaptation,
and possibly the idealistic thought of paradise may be the echo of
those far away days. When, however, mankind began to people the earth,
necessity drove them to assist nature and thus "WORK" was created. For
a long period this work was infinitesimal, and many races could still
live from nature's storehouse. Their wants were few, so that the
thought of exploiting nature for the benefit of improved conditions,
never entered their heads. For forty years, Moses traversed the desert
with the people of Israel, searching for gifts from Heaven, but they
did not know, that--he who wishes to live upon milk and honey--must
work to obtain them. By degrees, people began to try and win more from
Dame Nature than she was willing to give unaided. They were forced,
thereto, by their ever increasing numbers and by the individual demands
on life. This healthy thought for improvement was frequently
interrupted and, temporally, even entirely suspended, for in the human
mind dwell not only great and lofty thoughts, but envy, strife and
hatred have also a place. The history of mankind bristles with ugly
deeds, wars, enslaving of nations and even extermination. Entire
periods know nothing of peaceful development, but quietly and
persistently "WORK" gained ground and forced itself, despite
resistance, upon mankind. Only the more modern times have shown us the
might and the blessing which lies dormant in "Work". Like an avalanche,
the knowledge swept fifty years ago across the people, that quite
different means were required for mutual benefit and culture, than
those provided by nature itself. That was the triumphal entrance of
"Work" towards a definite goal.

Words fail to adequately describe what the last fifty years have
brought us, in inventions and kindred achievements, and what is the
result of this Herculean work? An expansion undreamt of in the annals
of history. By 50% the population of several countries had increased,
they became too small to feed and clothe their people from their own
resources, but the new spirit, which dominated all, has solved this
problem, and great blessings have been vouchsafed to humanity. The
"hard at work" countries had much better food, clothing, health and
enjoyment, and each individual shared in the vast improvement of the
general conditions of life.

What are the driving forces which put this gigantic machinery into
motion? To enumerate them all would be impossible. The workman, who
wields the hammer, the woman, who keeps home and hearth bright and
cheerful, the patient teacher who moulds the juvenile mind, the
professor, who disperses the deeper knowledge of science, the engineer,
with his intricate machinery, the inventor, with his fertile brain,
and, last not least the merchant, who constantly opens new roads for
the interchange of goods, all--and every one of them are cogs in the
wheels of the engines of progress.

The laws and rules which govern this world of activity cannot be
determined. Each single one of the co-workers has the purpose and goal
of his own endeavour before his eyes, but the human mind is incapable
of guiding or even viewing, the concentrated action of all the forces
at work.

We have given a cursory glance at the general economic development
which started in the slowest possible way, and marched with double
quick speed during the last fifty years, but now we shall turn to our
own particular sphere.

We celebrate, to-day, the fiftieth anniversary of the Establishment of
the Bremen Cotton Exchange, and with this book of sketches and
sidelights on what we have felt and experienced, we wish to contribute
a small offering to this festivity.



COTTON.


Cotton grows in almost every part of the Globe where the climatic
conditions are favorable. The plant requires a moderate amount of
moisture, but a good deal of sunshine and also warm nights. Countries
with a moist warm climate are suitable for the raising of particular
good qualities.

The chief country of production is the southern part of the United
States of North America. Considerable crops are also grown in East
India and Egypt, and lesser quantities come from the Caucasus,
Turkestan, China, Brazil, Argentine, Peru and Africa. The continental
consumption looks for the greater part to American cotton, but, also,
East Indian is extensively used. In the Southern States of America, the
first cotton ripens in August. The bolls containing cotton, will grow
well into the Autumn, and even in Winter new bolls will be formed, and
it is only a killing frost, which terminates the productive force of
the plant. When the bolls are ripe, they open, and then the picking
commences. As a rule, the first pickings are the best as to color and
cleanness, and the longer the bolls are exposed to the inclemencies of
the weather in Autumn and Winter, the more the quality will
deteriorate. The picked cotton consists of two thirds of seed and one
third of actual cotton. In order to obtain the fibre, the cotton is
passed through a ginning machine. From the seeds, edible oil is gained
and the residue is manufactured into food for cattle, while the cotton
is formed into bales in specially constructed presses. It is natural,
that cotton should show a great diversity of quality, owing to the
influence of weather during the long period of picking. The color of
cotton covers a fair range, one sees not only snow white and creamy
cotton, but also bluish, grey, red and mixed colors.

The value of cotton is determined by its quality and character. Of
chief importance is the percentage of the loss during the cleaning
process in the cotton mill. A normal percentage of loss for medium
grades is 10%, this is likely to be higher, if the cotton has been
picked during moist weather and contains much unripe cotton. The color
is also of great importance, discolored cotton has a decidedly lower
value, especially when this cannot be rectified by bleaching which is
mainly the case with heavily spotted or bluish cotton. An even greater
factor, than the outward appearance, is the inner value, which is
represented by the length and strength of the fibre (staple). The
staple length of common American cotton is from 24-28 mm. In great
request are the qualities, which have a longer staple than 28 mm,
especially when the staple is even, silky and strong. A difference of
only 1/2 mm in the length of the staple, may mean a difference of 10%
in the value. It is of the greatest importance to the cotton merchant
as well as to the spinner, that the cotton is correctly judged as
regards its outward appearance and the length of staple, this
adjudication or classing is by no means an easy task. A certain system
has been adopted by which the outward appearance of the cotton is fixed
by so-called standards into classes. A certain number of cotton samples
are arranged in a suitable flat box, in such a way that their surface
represents the color and cleanness of the respective class. If a lot of
cotton is to be classed, samples are drawn from every bale, these are
placed together, sample by sample, and the total thus gained, is
compared with the standard. In this way an opinion is formed, whether
the cotton is equal to the class represented by the standard, or
whether it is below it, in which case, this difference in class has to
be valued. The judging of the staple is a very difficult task, 1/2 mm
is of importance, and yet it is impossible to measure staple correctly.
Anybody, even with the greatest dexterity in his fingers, will not be
able to draw from a piece of cotton the single fibres, place them in
such a way next to each other, that they appear like Swedish matches in
a box. A good expert, however, is able to draw the staple in a manner,
that the average length will be accurately judged. To give a correct
opinion on cotton, rooms with a good light are required, much
experience and good judgment.

Next in importance for continental consumption is Egyptian and East
Indian cotton. The former is divided into two kinds, the long stapled,
which grows on the lower Nile, the Delta, and the shorter stapled,
Upper Egyptian cotton. The long stapled Egyptian is utilised for the
very finest yarns, and its only rival is or was Sea-Island cotton. This
latter grows on a group of islands, not far from the shore of Georgia
which have a moist warm climate, but the boll-weevil has played serious
havoc with that crop, and the cultivation has been greatly curtailed.
East India produces shorter stapled descriptions of great variety, but
each has a character of its own, and yet to differentiate between them,
is a knotty problem, especially, as now and then, one comes across a
somewhat fraudulent mixture. The names are mostly derived from the
locality in which they grow, while the climate and condition of the
ground give the character, and in some cases, even distinctive smell,
for instance, Oomra cotton smells like musk; occasionally the smell is
an indisputable proof of origin.

It has taken the continental cotton industry a long time to grow from
small beginnings to its present importance. The never lacking
competition has brought about a great improvement in the quality and
variety of the articles produced. It is astounding to compare the raw
material in the fields, with the finished articles in the windows of
some lady's outfitting shop. It requires many diligent hands and high
class technical guidance, to transfer Nature's present of raw cotton
into the manifold articles, which the people, nowadays, require and
desire.

The variety of these articles is countless: cloth, as fine as a
spider's web, and coarse fustian, here finest batiste, and there,
strong drill for overalls. Each finished article requires its own
particular raw material, low qualities cannot produce fine goods, and
it is also impossible to utilise high qualities for low grade goods.
The very arbitrary law for economic production, makes it a duty for
every spinner to select just that quality of cotton, which is most
suitable for his purpose, and it is the task of commerce to adapt the
offers and deliveries to the requirements of the consumer.



THE OLD TIME.


In the year 186.., in the old narrow office, father and son met, the
latter, a newly made partner. He had been, according to ancient custom,
a volunteer for several years in London, where he had been well
received amongst English families. But it was with strange feelings
that he entered his father's office for the first time after many years
of absence.

His horizon had widened, while here, little or nothing was changed. The
old office furniture, which had done good service for generations, was
the same, as no merchant ever thought of altering anything for merely a
greater personal comfort, but the old fashioned standup desks and the
well worn leather seats of the high office stools, did not look as
inviting as of old. His memory had mellowed and idealized their
appearance. Of course, the influence of the mother was not permitted in
the sacred precincts of the office, even most of the cleaning was done
by the youngest apprentice. But from the grey walls looked down
proudly, the models of the sailing vessels which carried their
houseflag to distant shores. During the long hours of a voyage, they
had been fashioned by captains or clever sailors, and were a constant
reminder of deeds nobly done.

Here is the "Anne Marie", a tea clipper of graceful lines, like a
swallow, which made the journey from China to London in 80 days, and
had earned, besides a good freight, a high premium for bringing the
first tea of the new crop to the epicures in London. There is the
"Katharina", much heavier in build, she took 180 days to fetch wet
sugar and hemp from Manilla. One may wonder, whether captain and crew
ever thought of the enjoyments of life, while they ploughed the sea for
6 months. Yonder, in the full light from the window is the "Nordstern",
a whaler, and underneath a picture of the crew. These wild and rough
fellows took their lives in their hands, on the perilous journey from
Honolulu to the Polar Seas. They had no regular wages, but shared in
the profits from the sale of the oil and whalebone. Their hard earned
money, however, was mostly dissipated in San Francisco, during a few
days of riotous jubilation.

After some desultory talking, the son carefully broached the following
subject: "There is the "Augusta" ready in port to sail for Baltimore,
to bring a cargo of tobacco. Pity, that the heavy Kentucky barrels fill
only half the freight room and leave so much space empty. I think,
father, we ought to fill it up with light goods, principally with
cotton."

"Cotton, my dear boy! I fancy, you must be dreaming of the old firm of
B. & F. You remember, F. told his agent, in the West Indies, to add to
the cargo of Asphalt and cocoanuts, 200 bales of cotton. His bad
handwriting led to the mistake that 2000 bales were shipped, the moment
they were afloat, the Southern Ports were blockaded, which caused an
unprecedented rise in the price of cotton, so that the last of the 2000
bales were sold at "one Thaler" per pound (equal then to three marks)."

"I do not think, father, that such luck is likely to repeat itself, but
the fact remains, that we have room empty, which easily might carry
freight, besides, I hear, that there is an increasing demand for
cotton, as several new cotton mills are being started in Germany."

"Yes, that is all very well, but think of the enormous risk of the
cotton trade. The fluctuations in prices are fabulous, recently, they
have been going down and down. My friend W. has been holding cotton for
3 years and has never seen his price back yet. A loss he will not take,
he declares 'that he will hold that cotton till he is black in the
face.'"

"That is a wrong policy, W. ought to have sold the cotton long ago,
replaced the same by a lower priced purchase, this would have saved him
charges and loss of interest, and would have cheapened his original
purchase."

"This is a new method of doing business, we--old Bremen people--stick
firmly to an enterprise, until the success is secured. That is the old
Hanseatic spirit."

"One might almost call it stubbornness, the present time requires quick
thinking and turning."

"All right, but from whom will you take the money which is required by
this modern way of doing business? The local money-broker has no spare
cash for it."

"No, father, but I can assure you, that in London people are not
adverse to assist the legitimate trade, and besides, several of the
great London Bankers come from this neighbourhood and are very well
disposed towards Bremen."

                     *      *      *      *      *

The "Augusta" brought, besides her cargo of tobacco, 1038 bales of
cotton, quite a big quantity for that time.



QUESTIONS OF LAW IN THE PAST.


According to the Universal German Commercial Law, and later, according
to the Civil Code of Law, the buyer has the right to cancel the
contract, or to demand a reduction in price, if the goods delivered do
not equal the quality guaranteed.

Experts had to decide, whether the quality tendered was up to the
guarantee.--These experts were appointed by the law, in accordance with
the proposals of the parties concerned. The cotton trade followed, in
olden days, this same procedure, but the weak point, was the verdict of
the experts, because there were no experts in Germany outside Bremen,
and no party could forecast the likely result of the verdict. A far
worse consequence of the Law Conditions was for the cotton trade, the
fact, that the law made no difference, whether the goods differed much
or little from the stipulated quality. In both cases, the buyer had the
right to place the goods at the disposal of the seller. The result of
this, was most damaging to the Trade, sometimes, the sellers had the
worst of it, sometimes the buyers. A few examples taken from actual
experience will best explain this:

    Extracts from business letters of past years.

    We have received to-day your 100 bales of cotton, but find the
    quality not up to our expectations. You have to deliver us
    middlingfair, but the cotton is hardly goodmiddling. We cannot use
    the cotton, as it is unsuitable for our hosiery yarns. We place the
    100 bales at your disposal.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    We insist upon your taking delivery of the 100 bales. The quality
    is perfectly correct, you can ask any expert in Bremen about it.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    We have nothing to do with your Bremen Experts, if need be, our
    local experts will decide. We have no doubt that you know the law
    on this point. The fact remains, that we place the 100 bales at
    your disposal.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    Your intention to place the 100 bales at our disposal is caused, no
    doubt, by the fall in prices. We know very well that if it comes to
    law, experts will decide, who know nothing about it, moreover, the
    verdict will only be given after many months. This is unbearable;
    what allowances do you want?

                     *      *      *      *      *

    If you wish us to use the cotton, we demand an allowance of....

                     *      *      *      *      *

    Your demand is preposterous, but we have to agree to it, as we
    cannot help ourselves. We prefer not to make you any offers in
    future.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    I am sorry to inform you, that the 100 bales are not equal to the
    sample, consequently, I place the cotton at your disposal.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    The buying sample has been taken from the actual bales delivered, a
    difference in the quality is quite impossible. We insist upon your
    keeping the 100 bales.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    I am sending you a few samples of the delivered cotton, any child
    can see that they are different from the buying sample.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    The samples sent to us are of no account. 100 bales represent a big
    quantity of cotton, amongst which, a few inferior flakes are sure
    to be found, if one searches diligently for them. We cannot agree
    to your demands.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    My lawyer tells me, that every bale and every part of the bales
    must be equal to the sample. I have opened several bales and find
    the contents very irregular. There are good and bad flakes in them,
    I can only use regular cotton. The 100 bales are at your disposal.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    Your 100 bales turn out very badly indeed and are much below the
    guaranteed quality. What allowance are you willing to make us?

                     *      *      *      *      *

    There can be no question of an allowance, if the 100 bales do not
    suit you, why do you not place them at our disposal, as you did in
    a previous case. This time, however, prices have advanced, while
    last time, they had fallen, now perhaps the case will appear to you
    in a different light.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    You surely never expect me to take bad cotton instead of good? I
    cannot return the cotton, as I cannot stop my mill. I propose, that
    experts fix the lower value, and you pay me the difference
    according to law.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    If you wish to invoke the law, you must remember, that the cotton
    is not allowed to be touched, till the experts have made their
    report and the legal verdict has been given. You say, "you must use
    the cotton at once," while our agent tells us, "that a few bales
    have already been spun." This finishes your claim, and we refuse to
    do anything in the matter.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    A spinner bought direct from America 100 bales of a certain class.
    The market rose rapidly, and when the bales arrived, they were much
    inferior, in fact, fully two classes too low. The spinner
    complained bitterly to the shipper, and demanded an allowance,
    which the latter refused, on the plea, that, for the price of the
    contract, he could only deliver low quality.

                     *      *      *      *      *

From these examples it will be seen that the cotton Trade had no
suitable foundation in the Law.



ORIGIN OF THE BREMEN COTTON EXCHANGE.


During the war of 1870/71 the cotton trade had suffered a serious
relapse, but shortly afterwards, the Bremen people began seriously to
consider means and ways to put the trade on a proper footing.

The industry had expanded, and the occasional chance business had been
replaced by a more regular and closer connection with the spinners. The
main thing to do now, was to find a proper basis upon which a regular
market could be built up. The various questions of law had to be
adjusted in a broad minded manner, to suit the particular need of the
cotton market. Liverpool offered a good example for this, as there,
everything had been adapted to the peculiarities of the cotton trade.

Here, in Bremen, first of all, the credit system had to be abolished.
It was manifestly impossible to increase the import, as long as the
importer was obliged to sell the cotton on 3-4 months open credit.

A good stock of cotton is the first necessity for a market of any
importance, but how to obtain it, if the needful capital is lacking to
pay for the cotton? The risk of the great price fluctuations, which are
indigenous to cotton, gave the whole trade a bad name, and everybody,
who had anything to do with it, lost prestige.

Was it worth while to follow up the idea of starting a cotton market?

We must praise the men, who made it practically their life's work, to
overcome the difficulties, and must admire the cleverness with which
they left certain items for the future to solve.

The men who laboured hard for this object, formed themselves into the
"Committee for the Bremen Cotton Trade", later on, the name was
changed, and on the 1st of October 1872, everything was ready, and
under the new name of

    "Bremer Baumwollbörse"

an organisation was started, which has since become known all over the
cotton world.

On the 1st of October 1922, its birthday re-occurs for the fiftieth
time.

Political occurrences make a deeper impression than those which fall
into the sphere of National Economics, but the present has taught us,
that the latter are by no means to be despised, in fact, deserve more
attention than was given to them previously. It may be worth while to
recall, that through the influence of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange", a
well regulated trade of first magnitude has been built up. We are
forced to observe the development of national economy, not only in our
own country, but also, that in foreign countries, and by keeping the
important factors constantly before us, we can learn a good deal.



ARBITRATIONS AND APPEALS.


The department of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange" which deals with
questions relating to actual cotton, has a staff of sworn classers. It
is their duty to fix, with the aid of the various standards, the class
of cotton, or to pronounce an opinion on it, or to settle the disputes
between buyer and seller, as far as they refer to the quality of
cotton.

American cotton is divided into a number of classes, and each has its
standard. Originally, these standards were obtained from Liverpool, but
later on, Bremen produced the standards independently. There are
original standards and standard copies; the former, remain unchanged,
while the latter are renewed every year, because, through constant use,
they are liable to deteriorate. The freshly made up standards are
subject to the examination and approval of a Committee, elected for
that purpose, and which consists of Members of the Trade and the
Industry. The sworn classers are nominated by the directors, and
concern themselves solely with the classing and arbitrating of cotton.
They have sworn a solemn oath, to conduct their office with absolute
impartiality; this is further safeguarded by the fact, that the names
of the parties interested are kept strictly secret. If a party
consider, that they have a right to complain about the verdict of the
classers, they can appeal against the decision. The verdict of the
appeal is given by Appeal Judges, who are appointed by a Committee,
elected for that purpose. They are selected from the merchants and
spinners, and great care is exercised that they possess the necessary
expert knowledge. The names of the interested parties are also withheld
from the appeal judges, nor are they informed whether buyer or seller
have appealed. It is of great advantage to the whole arbitration
system, that the appeal judges are actively engaged in the cotton
business, by this means a bureaucratic verdict is avoided. Up to a
point, the arbitrators and appeal judges work together, and thereby,
the former remain in close touch with the general business life, which
is of importance for various reasons. It is not sufficient for a
correct verdict, to simply compare the cotton with the standards, the
judges must know, how the difference in the quality is to be valued;
and how far the character of each crop is to be taken into
consideration, etc. etc. It is therefore apparent, that the judging of
cotton requires a certain connection with the actual business activity,
and, it is certain, that only the commerce itself can produce and
educate the individuals, who are chosen to pronounce an expert opinion
upon questions of such importance and difficulty.

                     *      *      *      *      *

The "Bremen Cotton Exchange" does not only decide questions concerning
quality, but settles also all other disputes, which may arise between
members. These decisions are given by, what may be called, a court of
arbitration and a court of appeal. To the former each party appoints
its own expert, while the Exchange appoints the experts to the latter.
The conditions of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange" are adapted to the
common law, but take into account, the decided peculiarities of the
cotton trade.

The following is an explanation of an important point, where the
conditions differ from the Common Law. A deviation from the guaranteed
quality, does not give the buyer the right to cancel the contract. He
is awarded an allowance, when the difference is small; if the
inferiority be greater, penalty is added to the allowance, but, when a
heavy allowance is not likely to compensate the buyer for the damage
sustained, he may return the cotton, but not by cancelling the
contract. In such cases, the contract will be what is called,
"regulated" or "invoiced back", in which method, the market differences
are duly taken into account, with the addition of penalty for the
guilty party. When sales are made for specified deliveries, and these
should not be made within the proper time, the buyer has also the right
of invoicing back, in the manner described. This invoicing back, takes
the place of the cancelling of a contract, according to law.

It is possible, that when a party practically goes by default on a
contract, through a very inferior tender, or by a late delivery, they
may yet be entitled to claim from the other party, a difference in
price. For instance: Somebody sells cotton at 22 cents, the market
drops to 20 cents, the contract is invoiced back for bad delivery,
then, the seller, who is the guilty party, has a claim against the
buyer, for a difference in the market of 2 cents less penalty of 2% =
0.44 cents, equalling 1.56 cents net.

This claim would not be possible according to Common Law. The
conditions of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange" make it a principal, that no
party shall take an advantage of the market fluctuations.

In the above case, the buyer would have a profit of 2 cents, if he
could have simply cancelled the contract on account of bad delivery,
because he could have immediately re-bought the cotton at 20 cents,
while all his calculations were based on a purchase at 22 cents. This
apparently strange fact, that the innocent should pay to the guilty, is
the direct consequence of the elimination of market fluctuations from
the Law Codes.

It has been of great benefit to all concerned, that any differences of
opinions are promptly settled by the "Bremen Cotton Exchange", and not
by having resort to a costly and wearisome law suit. Everybody in
cotton knows, that quarreling is always bad business, and, it is with
some pride, that the cotton Exchange looks back upon the big number of
decisions given.

Only very rarely has it happened, that disputes have been referred to
the ordinary Law Courts. The "Bremen Cotton Exchange" has, according to
the Rules, the power to do so, but that right is only exercised, where
purely matters of Law are concerned.



THE UNION WITH THE INDUSTRY.


The Bremen Cotton Market made slow progress and now and then the
progressive movement was interrupted. It required courage to pursue the
projected course, but "never despair" was the motto which finally
carried the day. It became apparent, that the "weal or woe", of the
market depended upon the attitude of the Industry. Far sighted men
strove hard to awaken an interest for Bremen amongst the spinners, who
still utilised considerably the Liverpool market.

The following letters bear witness how this idea was received:

    Bremen, ... 1886.

    The time has arrived, when the South German Cotton Industry should
    decide to come a step nearer to the sea. Frequently, complaints
    have been made about mutual misunderstandings, and that this lack
    of understanding had given rise to friction. If the spinners would
    unite with the Bremen cotton trade, an opportunity would be created
    for eliminating these misunderstandings. By talking matters over in
    a friendly spirit, and becoming known to each other, common
    interests could be defended and furthered. There is no danger that
    the spinners might be outvoted in Bremen, for there is a strong
    feeling here, that the common welfare must predominate, and that
    the Bremen trade depends, to a large extent, upon the goodwill of
    the Industry.

                     *      *      *      *      *

    Augsburg, ... 1886.

    We note with pleasure the suggestions, which we received from you
    verbally, and by letter, and are convinced that the reasons which
    you advance for a union with your market, are perfectly correct.
    Many of our spinners are a little out of the world, and it would be
    of advantage to them, to come into closer touch with the foreign
    and oversea trade. We shall gladly come to Bremen, after the
    necessary arrangements have been made in Augsburg. We do not wish
    to be merely affiliated, but desire to become active workers; for
    this purpose, we should require full membership, with voting power.
    We shall take care that Bremen--as a German Sea Port--attains the
    position in the cotton World, which it deserves.

                     *      *      *      *      *

In July 1886, the entry of the German Spinners into the "Bremen Cotton
Exchange" became an accomplished fact. The arrangements, which the
trade had made, for dealing with the cotton business in a just and
fitting manner, were pronounced excellent. It was resolved with great
enthusiasm, to unite forces for the fostering and regulating of the
cotton Import Trade, thereby, creating for Bremen, a great Cotton
market, and for the spinners, an easier way of obtaining their raw
material.

Six spinners joined the Board of Directors of the "Bremen Cotton
Exchange".

The German Spinners Unions were now united with the Bremen Cotton
Exchange, but, in the course of time, Swiss and Austria-Hungarian
spinners followed suit. Through this fusion, "The Bremen Cotton
Exchange" gained greatly in importance, influence and business
activity, so that it stood on equal terms with the great foreign
Exchanges.

At many meetings, spinners and merchants have peacefully sat at the
same Board table, although the interests of both groups are frequently
opposed to each other. Now and then, this has been apparent, but on the
principle that good reasons must give way to better ones, differences
of opinions were settled after proper discussion. Mutual understanding
and a determination to pay due respect to the interests of the other
party, have always been the leading spirit of the meetings. To-day, it
stands beyond any doubt that through this fusion, great benefits have
accrued to both parties, and to the far sighted men, who brought this
about, great honor, praise and veneration are due.

In the following we give a few figures concerning the number of Members
and the activity of the Bremen Cotton Exchange:

    Year    Members   Arbitrations        Appeals

    1887      184      300 446 bales    29 642 bales
    1892      253      653 567   "      70 340   "
    1897      356    1 089 956   "      67 048   "
    1902      449    1 295 441   "      63 692   "
    1907      673    2 396 128   "     208 402   "
    1912      717    2 554 284   "     315 597   "
    1913      719    2 165 657   "     245 576   "
    1920      610      405 058   "      80 698   "
    1921      663    1 041 608   "     215 066   "

We cannot possibly conclude this chapter, without drawing attention to
the fact, that if the commerce has reached its present greatness by its
own endeavours, the industry is fully entitled to an equal share of
praise.

The German cotton industry had to pass through many a hard fight. There
was a time, when German goods were deemed inferior, mainly for the
reason that they were not known. The German Export Trade owes something
like an apology to the Industry, for the poor support it gave at first
to the exertions of the Manufacturers, to create a market for their
goods in foreign countries. It took a long time before German goods
were appreciated in foreign markets, but, eventually, they gained for
themselves a high class reputation. The "Bremen Cotton Exchange", views
with pride, the success of their fellow members of the Industry.



FINANCIAL ITEMS.


In those days, when the world spoke of the five "Great Powers", money
was called the sixth "Great Power" and that with full right. It is a
fact, that money means power, and that in a wider sense of the word
than is generally accepted. The power of a state is limited, the power
of money is unlimited, it is international. It seems ever to rejuvenate
and augment itself, and it constantly draws bigger multitudes under its
sway. A man who is a power in financial circles, plays his role in the
world. England owes its enormous influence in politics and national
economy to money. There have been other countries possessing great
riches, but the working, creating and ruling capital, was English.

Previous to the English, German tribes were known on the sea. Daring
mariners left our shores, and did a thriving business in all parts of
the adjoining seas, where they founded settlements in the northern
waters, and on the Baltic. How is it, that Germany has not gained
riches, and why has it not participated in the treasures of the world,
which, up to a few hundred years ago, were lying open to everybody? For
the most part the unfavorable geographical position is to blame. On all
sides, hemmed in by foreign countries, it had to suffer wars upon wars.
A hundred years ago, Germany might still have had a chance to gain for
itself a position in the world, but, at that time, it was lying in the
dust, bleeding from a thousand wounds. The wars, which Napoleon waged
against the German states, had reduced it to a poverty stricken
country. All stamina seemed to have disappeared through the Napoleonic
reign, the wars themselves and the contributions to the same, which the
enemy mercilessly exacted, brought about a condition, which stifled all
enterprise, and reduced the people to misery. Deep thought, poetry and
music had to take the place of bodily welfare.

In their poverty, the inhabitants could not grasp the advantages
offered to other nations. Under these conditions, England gained the
mastery over half of the globe, politically, and in an economic sense.
The colonies provided vast supplies, which were cleverly exploited,
riches increased, business relations with the European Continent were
opened and enlarged, and one fine day, England was the general provider
to the Continent for nearly everything required. The extension of Trade
was closely followed by the development of the Banking system, which,
after all, may be called a branch of the trade. In the colonies,
English banks were established, and every ton of rice or grain, every
pound of cotton or spice, had to be paid through the intermediary of
the banker, who, of course, derived a profit from the transactions.

When 50 years ago, Germany awakened from its long impotence, her
citizens were received, without prejudice, all over the world, and no
obstacles were placed in the way of their diligence. This fact, we wish
gladly and thankfully to record. Many Germans were successful in
gaining a firm footing in the English Colonies, as well as in America,
and to attain there important positions. They formed a link between
their home country and the centres of trade and finance. Valuable
services were rendered by them to the German trade, but London remained
the Banker of the world, and when an industry began to grow in Germany,
it was, in many cases, the English, who furnished the first capital.
When the cotton market started to develop in Bremen, most of the
financing was done by English bankers, anyhow at first. Later on,
German Banks participated, and it is greatly to their credit, that they
showed such great interest and understanding for the requirements of
that trade. In the year 1871, the first German Bank of importance
opened its doors in Bremen, and others followed, as the trade expanded.

The cotton trade remained, in a certain measure, true to the English
banks, while the other branches of commerce worked mostly through
German banks, and a great incentive was given to this, by the fact,
that American bankers considered German money equal to the American and
English values.

How do we pay for the cotton, which we import?

The planter receives the purchase price from the shipper, through any
one of the numerous banks in the South. Of course, we cannot give the
actual dollars to the shipper, consequently, he or his banker has to
advance them for a short period. Before the war, we opened a credit
with English or German banks, in favor of the shipper, a so-called
reimbursement credit, by which he could recover his advanced purchase
price. When opening this credit, we took care, however, to have proof
that the goods, for which we intended to pay, were certain to reach us
eventually. We made the condition, that, against the reimbursement
credit, the shipping documents were to be delivered. Against delivery
of these documents, the shipper drew a draft upon our bankers,
discounted the same, and the matter was settled. Now the bank was in
possession of the documents, and by accepting the draft, had guaranteed
to pay the purchase price. The position between the bank and ourselves,
was cleared in various ways, which depended upon private arrangements.
We, as cotton importers, had to receive the purchase price from the
consumer in the interior, before we could satisfy our bank. As the sale
of the goods could not always be effected promptly, we remained debtors
to the bankers for the purchase price, while they were in possession of
the goods or the documents. The settlement of transactions of this
kind, requires a certain amount of trust and confidence, which the
bankers have to grant to the merchants, on the other hand, they have
their security in the value of the goods in their keep. The banks have
always given a full measure of trust to the Bremen cotton trade, while
the commerce has made every arrangement to safeguard the interests of
the bankers. In this connection, we mention the establishment of the
"Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft" which was founded in 1877, through
their Agency the bank obtained, in a simple form, the security of the
cotton itself. The hypothecation of goods against an overdraft on the
bank, was new in those days, but later, it became common practice, and
the old established forwarding houses made similar arrangements to
those of the Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft. It became the custom to
issue warrants against the cotton stored. The warehouse owners were,
thereby, obliged to keep the cotton, until the holder of the warrant
gave it free.

With growing trade, the co-operation of the banks increased
considerably, and for a long period, business was satisfactorily
settled, but the war caused here, like everywhere else, a certain
amount of confusion. The settlement with the German banks was easy, but
it was impossible, during the long period of the war, to let that
cotton remain untouched, which was hypothecated in favor of foreign
banks. Thus, a peculiar position in law was created, between the
warrant holder and the previous owners of the cotton. The settlement of
these questions lies with the respective committees of the peace
commission.

The financial treatment of the import business after the war, is vastly
different from previous methods. The American bankers play a far more
prominent part, as the German importer pays in dollars on arrival of
the goods in port, and he has to buy the dollars at a rate of exchange,
which is subject to the vagaries of the Stock Exchange.--Recently a
moderate credit has been given to the importer, but the further
development of affairs is uncertain.



BUSINESS IN FUTURES.


Cotton is sold to a large extent for distant delivery, but "future"
transactions are only those which are concluded on a specified "future"
exchange, under the rules and regulations of that particular exchange.
Here be it mentioned, that the Bremen Cotton Exchange is no exchange
within the meaning of the law. It has no regular hours of attendance,
nor has it special rules regulating the business in "futures". The
important "future" exchanges are Liverpool and New-York, and in a
lesser degree, Havre, Alexandria and New Orleans. Within the specified
hours of the "future" markets, large quantities of cotton contracts
change hands. There, buyers and sellers are constantly in attendance,
and it requires only a nod of the head to conclude a contract for
thousands of bales. The Rules, referring to "futures", do not differ
essentially from those governing the general trade, for it must be
borne in mind, that all "future" contracts demand the delivery of
actual cotton. Nobody can escape this duty, if he has sold futures, he
must deliver, unless he buys the contract back before it falls due, or
vice versa, which, of course, refers also to any ordinary delivery
contract. In fact, all transactions for delivery are settled either by
previous transfer or by fulfilment. It is noticeable how the stocks in
New-York increase or decline, in accordance with the tenders, against
"futures". No doubt, the great majority of the dealers intend to close
their contracts before they fall due, and the opportunity to do this,
presents itself every minute. In this, the "future" markets offer a
great advantage, or, if you like, a great temptation. In former days,
the dealing in "futures" had no legal protection in Germany, and
nowadays only under certain assumptions. Dealing in futures came within
the gaming act, and claims arising therefrom, were not actionable. The
Bremen Cotton Exchange has never accepted this view, but has constantly
fought against it, for very good reasons. The following explanation
will make it clear, that, as far as cotton is concerned, the trading in
futures is of great economic importance, and not practised for
snatching easily earned profits.



HEDGES.


A great market has the duty to adapt itself to all the requirements of
the Trade, and these are ever changing. For instance, new districts are
opened for commercial enterprise, new methods of doing business
develop, bringing increased activity in their train, and all this, has
to be regulated or arranged for.

Many things did not bother us in the past, as the following few
questions will show:

    How can we, without risk of the market, sell cotton in Spring,
    which will only be grown in Autumn?

    How can a planter sell the cotton which he has picked, when there
    are no buyers at the moment?

    How can a manufacturer protect himself against a decline in the
    price of cotton, while his goods are being prepared for the market?

    How can a manufacturer accept orders for late deliveries, without
    possessing the cotton?

    How can an importer take advantage of the great quantity of offers,
    which flood the market, during the first few months of the
    gathering of the crop?

To anybody in the cotton trade, these questions present no difficulties,
but, for the outside world, be it mentioned, that it is the "future"
market that furnishes the means to overcome these apparent anomalies.
It is the "future" contract, which eliminates the risk of the market
from the carefully managed cotton business.

Anybody who sells new crop cotton, buys a "future" contract as
provisional cover, it is then immaterial to him, whether the market
advances or declines. His actual sale price is the stipulated price,
and the differences which arise from the "future" contract, are added
or deducted. A planter, who cannot sell his cotton for the moment,
sells the equivalent amount of "futures". A bank takes charge of the
cotton and the "future" contract, and pays the price of the day. When
the cotton is finally sold, the bank is reimbursed by receiving the
then existing price of the day: plus or minus the differences on the
"future" contract.

A spinner finds himself, now and then, in the position that he cannot
effect sales against his production. With a decline in prices, mostly,
the cessation of the demand coincides. By selling a "future" contract,
he can safeguard himself. When the demand is brisk, a spinner may find
himself obliged to book orders, although the time for buying the raw
material is not propitious. Here also, the "futures" give the necessary
assistance.

The receipts of cotton are naturally biggest in the first few months of
the new season. Should an importer miss this opportunity of acquiring
most desirable cotton? No, he can buy, with impunity, as much cotton as
he considers advisable, for against each purchase, he can put out a
provisional sale of "futures". In the cotton trade therefore, two
transactions are frequently coupled. The main transaction, is the
trading in the actual article, while the accompanying "futures", are a
safety measure against the fluctuations of the market. This combination
of actual cotton and "futures", is called a "Hedge"--the origin of this
name is obscure. The "hedge" is a peculiarity of the cotton trade, it
may even be called, its life condition. The supreme Court of Law has,
in many decisions, upheld this condition. The endeavours of the cotton
trade have always been directed towards the minimising of the market
risk, and for this reason, "futures" have always played an important
part in cotton business.

What are the forces which put life into the "future" market? The
world's trade is large, and every minute will find people, who, in the
pursuance of legitimate interests, buy or sell. When both groups are
fairly equal, the market is steady, while a decline or an advance is
caused by a preponderance of one over the other; finally, this adjusts
itself again, by the fact, that a rapid advance will produce sellers
and vice versa. A further element in the market, is the "jobber", whose
main object is to take advantage of the small fluctuation caused by
chance, but we must not forget the big speculators. By these, we do not
mean those despicable people who aim to snatch a profit, and who, on
having to face a loss, plead the gaming act. Experience and force of
circumstances have, luckily, driven these parasites almost out of the
market. But we do mean those big operators, who having weighed
carefully "the pros and cons" of the situation, cause the great "bull"
or bear movements.



TECHNICALITIES.


For those who wish to obtain information concerning the cotton trade
from this pamphlet, certain subjects are here elaborated, which were,
so far, only indicated in connection with other explanations.

Of first importance are the shipping documents, which consist of bills
of lading and insurance certificates. There are three kinds of bills of
lading: Port Bills of Lading, Custody Bills of Lading, and Through
Bills of Lading. The first must be signed by the captain of the
steamer, who has undertaken to carry the goods, or by a duly authorized
shipping agent. They are, therefore, an absolute guarantee on the part
of the ship, to deliver the goods to the holder of the bill of lading.
Unfortunately, this obligation is frequently restricted by the
insertion of certain inconspicuous clauses. The "custody bills of
lading" are signed by a shipping agent, they acknowledge receipt of the
goods, and promise the forwarding in due course. In order to obtain
equal value with the "port bill of lading," they should, later on, be
supplemented by a so-called "master's receipt", which is an
acknowledgment by the captain, that he has actually accepted the goods
for forwarding, in accordance with the conditions of the custody bill
of lading. They are used when the goods have arrived at the port,
previous to the ship.

The "through or railway" bills of lading, oblige the railway companies
to forward the goods from a place in the interior of America, to their
destination. A master's receipt is not necessary, but desirable, as it
is an easy means of ascertaining by which steamer the goods are coming
forward. At one time, "through or railway bills of lading" were not a
properly valid document, as the railway companies were not in duty
bound to forward the goods. Now, however, a change in the American Law
binds the companies to this duty.

The "Insurance certificate" confirms, that the goods have been insured
on the terms of an insurance policy, which remains in America, and in
case of claims, it has the same documentary value as the policy itself.
When "total loss", "general average" or "particular average" occur,
claims on the insurer can be made, which must be substantiated in the
port of discharge.

Any claim, referring to difference in quality or loss in weight, has to
be made on receiving the goods, and the complaint has to be lodged
within a certain specified time. On these points, the Bremen Cotton
Exchange has specific rules which are easily understood.

If one party to a purchase or sale contract goes by default, the other
party is obliged to send in their claim within the time stipulated by
the rules of the Bremen Cotton Exchange, this is most important, as the
non-observance may mean the loss of any right to claim. The method in
which these claims are made up, is easily seen from the Rules of the
Bremen Cotton Exchange.

If one party suspends payment, all unfulfilled contracts are
immediately settled, without any action of the other party. The
obligation to take or make delivery ceases, and, instead of this, the
difference in price is fixed which exists between the date of contract,
and the time when payment was suspended. These differences in price are
put to account between the parties concerned. It can thus easily
happen, that the solvent concern has to pay a considerable amount to
the other party, through whose fault the contract was not carried out,
and yet, this constitutes no loss to the paying party, as they can at
once cover themselves at the existing prices. The advantage of this
procedure lies in the fact, that the solvent concern is not left in
uncertainty, whether their contracts will be fulfilled or not, while,
otherwise, this decision would rest with the liquidators, who,
according to Common Law, are not obliged to declare themselves, until
the stipulated time for delivery has been reached.

Of great importance in the cotton trade is the business for future
delivery, and that in a two-fold form. All transactions in "futures"
are governed by the stringent rules of the respective Exchanges, which
refer, particularly, to the price differences caused by the
fluctuations in the market, and the safeguarding of the interests thus
created.

Indirectly, every buyer comes frequently into contact with the "future"
business, because, for years past, the importing of cotton has not been
done at fixed prices, but at so many points "on" or "off" certain
"futures" in New-York, for instance, a purchase is made of "goodmiddling"
October/November shipment at 200 points "on" December, or lowmiddling
at 200 points "off". At any period up to the time of shipment, or even
of arrival of the cotton, the buyer can elect to fix the price on the
market of the following day. Should then December in New-York stand at
20 cents, the price for "goodmiddling" would be 22 cents or 18 cents
for "lowmiddling".

Very peculiar is the "hedge" business, to which reference has been
made, and it might be advisable to give a few examples as an
explanation.

A spinner is obliged to buy cotton to prevent stoppage of his mill, a
sale of yarn is impossible for the moment and he decides on a "hedge"
transaction. He buys "goodmiddling" at 22 cents, and sells at the same
time in New-York 200 December "futures" at 20 cents. Later on, the
market advances to 22 cents, and at this price the spinner covers his
"future" contract, thereby, losing 2 cents. The purchase price of his
200 bales is now not 22 but 24 cents. As the movements of cotton and
cotton products run on parallel lines, he has the same chance, for the
sale of his production, on the basis of 24 cents, as he had at 22
cents. He gained a longer period to effect a favorable sale, while the
chances of the market remained the same. It would have made no
difference had the market declined to 18 cents, with a consequent gain
of 2 cents, instead of a loss of 2 cents. The cotton would then have
cost 20 cents, but this would have been no advantage to him, as the
opportunity for selling his yarns would also have been on the basis of
20 cents.

A spinner sells his yarns for a distant delivery, at that moment,
however, it does not suit him to buy the cotton, he prefers to cover
himself in futures, and therefore buys 200 bales December "futures" in
New-York at 20 cents. He has calculated that the sale price of his
yarns allows him to pay 24 cents for goodmiddling. He watches the
market for a favorable opportunity to buy "goodmiddling", he succeeds
in buying 200 bales at 300 "on" December. On arrival of the 200 bales,
he fixes the price with his seller, now he must be careful to liquidate
his "future" contract at the same moment. Both are done at 18 cents,
and he loses 2 cents on his "futures". The cotton, however, costs him
18 cents, plus the 300 points "on", equal to 21 cents, he therefore
makes a profit of 3 cents on the calculated purchase price of 24 cents,
from this are to be deducted, the 2 cents loss on the "futures",
remaining, one cent net profit. The fluctuations of the market had
nothing to do with this profit, which he had, so to say, in his pocket
right from the commencement, as he had sold his yarns on the basis of
24 cents for cotton, with "futures" at 20 cents, in fact, he bought his
cotton at 300 "on" for goodmiddling, with the value of "futures" at 20
cents, which equals 23 cents. The hedge business, therefore, does away
with the market risk, now in what consists its value? The profit on
cotton does not lie in the fluctuations of the market, one has to look
for it elsewhere. The chances of profit-making are to be found for the
merchant in judicious buying, while, for the manufacturer, they consist
in the lucrative production of his finished articles.

The merchant requires for advantageous buying, far reaching connections
and a wide spread organisation, he has to survey the entire field of
cotton production, he must watch for every opportunity where cotton is
pressed for sale, he must know which district has grown the qualities
mostly preferred, in short, he has to keep himself extremely well
posted. The consumer has to work with the same tension, to find the
devious ways which lead to a profitable result in his business. Hardly
ever do big profits stare one in the face, and should a particular good
opportunity arise, it never lasts long, as everybody wishes to
participate in it, which, of course, spoils the best chance. For the
common welfare, competition tends to reduce the prices of everything to
the lowest possible level, that is the natural course of events.
Occasional deviations are simply exceptions, that, according to the old
proverb: "prove the rule".

What is the technical value of a market?

The most pressing requirement for a spinner is a big supply, and this,
naturally, collects in a big market. The manifold demands which a
spinner places upon the quality, can only be satisfied by a great
selection. Given a good supply, one of the main conditions of the
industry has been fulfilled. An active market has a further calling, it
regulates the prices, and, thereby, enables the industry to buy the raw
material at a figure, warranting a successful competition in the trade
of the world.



MARKET ACTIVITY IN BREMEN.


Future transactions, of course, entail certain expenses, which
constitute something of a burden on the running business, while economy
is a necessity for every mercantile enterprise. Out of this, originated
the desire to establish a "future" market in Bremen. People felt sure
that it would greatly assist the development of the market, to be able
to trade in "futures" within their own portals. A certain amount of
ambition may also have lent its weight. The establishment took place,
though, not under the auspices of the Bremen Cotton Exchange, but in
the form of an independent society. Early in 1914, the market commenced
its activities, and it was soon found, that all expectations were
realised, and even surpassed. The clearing house, which was started
simultaneously, fulfilled all requirements. The business with the
spinners had now a foundation, which answered all demands of modern
times. Covering transactions, which previously were cabled to New-York
and Liverpool, could be executed here every minute within business
hours. Where orders from spinners were concerned, the whole transaction
could be done by telephone. The "future" market blossomed out in such a
way, that no fears were entertained for its successful future.

The coping stone had been set on the edifice of the Bremen Cotton
Market.

                     *      *      *      *      *

With the growth of the industry in Germany, the Bremen cotton trade
expanded, and the business with the surrounding countries grew in
proportion. Russia, Poland, Austria-Hungary, Switzerland, Italy,
Holland and Belgium, all became faithful customers, and the Bremen
Cotton Exchange hummed with activity. Here, was the centre of all the
efforts to provide the consumer with the desired material at the lowest
prices. Every evening, at a late hour, when the last news from America
had arrived, a flood of telegrams carried advantageous offers down to
the smallest and most distant places on the Continent. Not only the
cotton spinner, but also the weaver, the printer and the wholesale
dealer took an interest in the Bremen offers, like clockwork operated
the business intercourse between the cotton factor and the cotton
consumer.



THE WAR.


The Bremen Cotton Exchange has never occupied itself with politics,
but, of course, the members could not help taking serious notice of
occurrences which shook the world's foundation. Together, with the
expansion of business, grew also a political apprehension. France was
lending milliards upon milliards to the Russian Czardom, with the
express condition, that the money had to be expended in preparation for
a war against Germany. One saw, that France gave Egypt to England,
although it did not own it, on the other hand, England ceded Marocco to
France, without having any sovereign right over that country. That
Germany had interests in both places, was overlooked. The English
newspapers, so widely read in Bremen for their business news, brought
articles upon articles, picturing the dangers of a German Invasion. In
the most lurid of colors, the cruelties of the war were painted, that
was supposed to threaten England, and all this, for no other purpose,
than to inflame the passions of the English people.

What did the commerce do in face of these threatening symptoms?--Nothing!
Without an anxious thought, people looked after their business, and
showed an optimism, which to-day, is inexplicable.

On the 25th of July in 1914--after the Austria-Serbian ultimatum--careful
merchants insured their afloat cotton against war risks. The big German
Insurance Companies took this risk for 1/8%, let us repeat it, one
eighth per cent! How was it that the insurance companies were so
unconcerned? At the same time in Bremen, and at other places in
Germany, many insurances were covered with English companies. Did
nobody see danger ahead?

All political misgivings of those days were silenced by the feeling,
that to think of war was monstrous and to believe in war, an
impossibility, on account of the highly developed economic relations
which connected all countries.

Yet the war came! At the outbreak, many cargoes of cotton owned by
Bremen merchants were afloat, and many "future" contracts were open in
the Liverpool market. Later on, the cargoes were taken by the enemy,
and the Liverpool contracts were liquidated, in accordance with a
certain system, but without the consent of the other parties to the
contract, and without reservation of their rights. Bremen had a
considerable stock of cotton at the commencement of the war,
consequently was in a position to supply the German cotton mills for a
long time. If proof had been needed to show the advantage of having an
important cotton market in Bremen, the war would have furnished it. The
cotton trade was not satisfied to deal only with the existing supply,
but did its very utmost to secure fresh imports, and was successful, by
means and ways hitherto unknown, to bring considerable quantities of
cotton into Germany, where it was of great service.

The Cotton Exchange does not trade, but under the war-conditions and in
the knowledge of being the centre of commerce and industry, a
courageous attempt was made. At the instigation of the Exchange,
commerce and the spinners of Germany and Austria-Hungaria united, to
give a bid for one million bales of cotton to the Americans. Cotton was
no contraband of war, and America was neutral, so no difficulties
seemed to be in the way of executing this plan. The buyer was prepared
to pay the price which the Americans might demand, and the goods were
to be paid in hard cash dollars. Yet the offer was not accepted,
although America had sufficient reason to seek an outlet for the big
crop it had grown, and that nobody wanted under the war conditions.
Politics were too mighty for the reasons of commerce!

After a while, all connections ceased with America. The Bremen Cotton
Exchange and the cotton trade were at a stand-still. Now and then, the
Exchange tried to place their establishment at the disposal of the
trade in substitutes, but only with moderate success. To build up a
lasting trade in substitutes was as impossible as it was to find a
market for the substitutes, when once cotton began to appear again.



THE RE-OPENING OF THE MARKET.


After the armistice, the possibility presented itself again, of
supplying the German cotton industry with raw material. The government,
however, made certain stipulations under which the import might be
carried on, but no hymn of praise can be sung about them.
Notwithstanding all difficulties, cotton found its way into the
country, and when, finally, all government measures were cancelled, the
legitimate business was restarted. All round the Bremen market,
competition had grown. Rotterdam made great exertions to push Bremen
aside, even Copenhagen made similar endeavours. A few American firms,
which were hostile to Germany, did their best to circumvent Bremen.
These efforts, however, were not crowned with success, Bremen regained
its position. It has been shown that the natural development through
many years, cannot be killed and artificially replaced. The manifold
relations, started in peace-time, of personal or business character,
showed their value. The economic life flows through a great network of
channels, should these be artificially closed, they will re-open again
of their own accord, as soon as the barriers have been removed. During
the war, the German cotton industry either stood still, or worked only
with a small percentage of its machinery. The government had husbanded
the supply of cotton most carefully, so that, after an unexpectedly
long war, a little was still left over. The mills which were running,
displayed great assiduity in procuring and utilizing substitutes for
cotton. Paper, wood, cellulose, reed and nettle fibres, and other
materials were tried, some were manufactured quite extensively. During
the war they did good service, but in normal times, they cannot usurp
the place of cotton. After surmounting many difficulties, the German
cotton industry is once more in full swing, and with it, Bremen is
again the important continental cotton market. The surrounding
countries buy in Bremen as of old, though some outlets are still
closed, owing to political and economic reasons.

During the last three years, before the war, the import of North
American cotton to Bremen averaged 2 500 000 bales, during the season
1920/21, it reached 1 200 000 bales, and in 1921/22, 1 500 000 bales,
the decline, against the former years, is caused, partly, by the
disappearance of some outlets, and partly, by the shorter working day.



AMERICAN CROPS AND CONSUMPTION.


The activity of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange" depends, to a large
extent, upon the import figures, and these again are under the
influence of the various crops. In America, big crops alternate with
small ones, the cause for this diversity is to be found in the climate
conditions, and also in the ruling range of price. High prices
stimulate an extensive planting and a careful cultivation of the
ground, while low prices have the contrary effect. The crop figures
from 1872-1914, were ascending, an occasional decline was made good
later on.

The following figures will make this clear.

    American crops:

    1872    3 650 000 bales
    1875    4 302 000   "
    1878    4 745 050   "
    1881    5 136 000   "
    1884    5 477 000   "
    1887    6 884 000   "
    1891    8 940 000   "
    1894   10 025 000   "
    1898   10 985 000   "
    1901    9 749 000   "
    1904   13 697 000   "
    1907   11 326 000   "
    1910   11 966 000   "
    1913   14 614 000   "
    1914   16 738 000   "
    1915   12 013 000   "
    1916   12 664 000   "
    1917   12 345 000   "
    1918   12 817 000   "
    1919   11 921 000   "
    1920   13 711 000   "
    1921    8 000 000[1]"

      [1] estimated.

The reverse, which the production suffered since 1914, is remarkable,
it is largely accounted for, by the want of artificial manure. German
potash could not be obtained, and this was largely used by all cotton
states, with the exception of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas,
which do not require that kind of fertilizer. In addition, the boll
weevil has become a dreaded enemy of the cotton plant. The insect world
produces quite an army of little fiends, that viciously attack and
reduce the crop, many have disappeared, but the boll weevil is, at
present, the arch-enemy; it is a small beetle which bores into the
bolls to deposit its eggs there.

The following figures give the distribution of the American crops.

        ¦ Export from America ¦         ¦   Taken by  ¦
        ¦         to          ¦         ¦   American  ¦ Percentage
        ¦  Great  ¦Continent, ¦Total in ¦   Spinners  ¦of the crop
        ¦Britain  ¦Japan etc. ¦thousands¦(in thousands¦used by the
        ¦in thousands of bales¦of bales ¦  of bales)  ¦   U.S.A.
        +         +           +         +             +
1871/72 ¦ 1 474   ¦    483    ¦ 1 957   ¦     1 097   ¦     37
1874/75 ¦ 1 833   ¦    841    ¦ 2 674   ¦     1 201   ¦     31
1877/78 ¦ 2 047   ¦  1 309    ¦ 3 356   ¦     1 496   ¦     31
1880/81 ¦ 2 832   ¦  1 733    ¦ 4 565   ¦     1 938   ¦     29
1883/84 ¦ 2 485   ¦  1 432    ¦ 3 917   ¦     1 877   ¦     33
1886/87 ¦ 2 704   ¦  1 741    ¦ 4 445   ¦     2 088   ¦     32
1890/91 ¦ 3 345   ¦  2 446    ¦ 5 791   ¦     2 640   ¦     30
1893/94 ¦ 2 861   ¦  2 371    ¦ 5 232   ¦     2 291   ¦     30
1896/97 ¦ 3 022   ¦  2 957    ¦ 5 979   ¦     2 792   ¦     32
1900/01 ¦ 3 050   ¦  3 488    ¦ 6 538   ¦     3 547   ¦     34
1903/04 | 2 577   |  3 455    | 6 032   |     3 935   |     39
1906/07 | 3 750   |  4 614    | 8 364   |     5 005   |     37
1909/10 | 2 430   |  3 778    | 6 208   |     4 256   |     40
1912/13 | 3 604   |  5 176    | 8 780   |     5 389   |     38
1913/14 | 3 419   |  5 447    | 8 866   |     5 503   |     38
1914/15 | 3 798   |  4 571    | 8 369   |     6 088   |     40
1915/16 | 2 866   |  3 185    | 6 051   |     6 810   |     53
1916/17 | 2 888   |  3 076    | 5 764   |     6 914   |     55
1917/18 | 2 247   |  2 179    | 4 426   |     7 073   |     59
1918/19 | 2 621   |  3 025    | 5 646   |     5 460   |     48
1919/20 | 3 062   |  3 300    | 6 362   |     6 131   |     50
1920/21 | 1 583   |  3 771    | 5 353   |     4 914   |     48
1921/22 | 1 946   |  4 586    | 6 532   |     6 308   |     50

From these statistics the important lesson to be learnt, is, that
America has surpassed all other countries in the growth of the cotton
industry. Fifty years ago, and later, America used only about 30% of
the crop for home consumption, while now, it requires more than half.
Equally remarkable is also the rapid growth of Japan. For many decades
after 1872, Japan used hardly any American cotton, but in 1913, it took
465 000 bales; in 1920 780 000 bales; in 1921: 600 000 bales, and the
estimate for 1922, is 800 000 bales. Besides this, a great many other
descriptions are spun there. The use of East Indian cotton is even
greater than that of American, and it reached two thirds of East
India's consumption, thus placing Japan, after America and England, in
the third place of cotton consuming countries. During the first half
year of 1921, it has even outdone America and England, because these
two countries were in the throes of a crisis.

For many decades, England had almost a monopoly for providing Asia, and
the rest of the world, with cotton goods, and required a corresponding
amount of raw material, but now, it has lost that position. Grave
concern is felt in England, as well as in the whole of Europe,
regarding the future of the cotton industry, as it seems impossible to
prevent a further expansion in America and Japan, besides that, there
is the growing menace of the boll weevil, which many people consider an
unwelcome guest, that has come to stay.

Amongst the other cotton growing countries, Brazil perhaps, offers the
best prospect, on account of the great interest taken there in the
cultivation of the cotton plant, also, the Argentine gives rise to some
hope.



BREMEN'S POSITION IN COMPARISON TO THE RIVAL MARKETS.


The following figures are intended to show how the imports of Bremen,
and its consequent importance, have grown in comparison to the great
rival markets of Liverpool and Havre:

                     The Import was to
                |  Bremen   | Liverpool |  Havre
                | in 1000   |  in 1000  | in 1000
                |  bales    |   bales   |  bales
                +           +           +
    1880/81     |     452   |   2 843   |     543
    1883/84     |     422   |   2 470   |     465
    1886/87     |     493   |   2 694   |     471
    1890/91     |     911   |   2 314   |     525
    1893/94     |     832   |   2 732   |     578
    1896/97     |   1 213   |   2 683   |     672
    1900/01     |   1 546   |   2 478   |     711
    1903/04     |   1 757   |   2 081   |     690
    1906/07     |   2 083   |   3 251   |     863
    1909/10     |   1 760   |   2 089   |     948
    1912/13     |   2 216   |   3 066   |   1 001
    1913/14     |   2 619   |   2 903   |   1 021
    1919/20     |     385   |   2 477   |     555
    1920/21     |   1 279   |   1 525   |     583

There are not exact statistics before 1880, however, Bremen's yearly
import will have been 2-300 000 bales. From small beginnings, quite a
creditable result has been reached, that is worthy of some
consideration.

History frequently chronicles the decay of some once flourishing
commercial centre, and nobody knows to-day, the exact reason. Was it an
opportunity missed? Of such, no records are kept in the book of time.
Should anybody compile a history of lost opportunities, it might easily
require a bigger volume, than that needed for the story of
opportunities taken at the crucial moment.

The river, on which Bremen is situated, was so heavily silted up, that
sometimes in Summer, one could wade through it; no sea-going vessel
could reach the town. Under these circumstances, the opportunity of
establishing a cotton market in Bremen might easily have been missed.
The trade which was indigenous to Bremen passed, in the second half of
the 19th century, through a period of transition. The shipping business
from olden times, a main stay of Bremen's commerce, had to adapt itself
to more modern requirements. The small vessels hitherto used, had to
make way for bigger ones, the steamship had entered into the world's
traffic. There was hardly a proper connecting link with the interior,
no water ways existed, and the efficiency of the railways was extremely
poor. Surely, these were not conditions that cried for the opening of a
market centre. Yet it was established, it grew and blossomed into
success.

Was this chance or method?

We owe many thanks to the State of Bremen for its co-operation, for,
with astounding energy, this small state undertook to build a sea-port
in Bremen town. This necessitated the deepening of the river "Weser",
to which work the neighbouring states lent no help, but rather, placed
difficulties in the way.

This grand work deserves an essay of its own, on account of its
influence on the commercial, political and economic position of Bremen.
Here only, be it mentioned, that the furtherance of the cotton trade
was a constant stimulus to this great plan. The authorities and the
representatives of the trade were in the best harmony, and the most
perfect arrangements were made for the dealing with cotton. Great
practical knowledge and experience was shown, in settling the question
of how to raise the interests and amortization needed for the vast
expenditure, and of how much the trade could bear without crippling it.
The state furnished the capital for the building of great warehouses,
and within a number of years their cost was paid off, as planned. In
this way, Bremen became equipped with all modern requirements for the
handling and storing of cotton, which, even to-day, are unsurpassed.
The port has the highest reputation for the quick and painstaking
unloading and dispatching of cotton cargoes.

The co-operation of the banks has already been mentioned, but we do not
deem it superfluous to repeat, that without capital, no enterprise can
be effectively launched, and all roads to successful completion are
barred. Fifty years ago Bremen was poor in capital. What existed of
riches, and was not needed in business, was, by preference, locked up
in American securities, very little was left liquid for the Cotton
Trade, although big amounts were needed to handle the import of cotton.
Credit is not given by merely asking for it, only he is entitled to it,
who is sure that he can fulfil his obligation. To incur debts, trusting
to luck to pay back, is bad policy. It is unfair dealing to accept
goods on credit in the hope that their sale will leave a profit, this
is only permissible, when sufficient capital is in existence to pay for
the goods, even though a loss takes the place of the expected profit.
As these views dominated the trade, close connections could be started
with the banks. State and banks have greatly helped the growth of the
Bremen cotton trade, besides them, however, the assistance of many
others must be gratefully acknowledged. Most particular reference has
to be made to the forwarding trade. With admirable energy, the
forwarding houses made all arrangements for the careful and expeditious
handling of the technical part of the cotton trade. Right from the
beginning, they worked on the principle of trustworthiness and
reliability, well knowing, that only by these, a mutual confidence
between all parties could be established. The great trust shown, alike
by shippers and receivers, to the Bremen Forwarding firms, has made the
dealing so easy and satisfactory. The post and telegraphic authorities
have likewise been imbued with good will towards the needs of commerce,
thereby assisting considerably the furtherance of trade. The harmonious
cooperation of so many powerful allies, enhanced the value of the work
done by the cotton market itself, though, never for a moment, must the
diligent work slacken, lest the budding tree should stop growing.
Anybody engaged in the cotton business has to be at his post every
minute, always ready to take a given opportunity. Exact information
concerning the conditions in America, as well as personal connections
in that country, are of great value. It is characteristic of the German
merchant to follow up a business once he has commenced it, and this
close attention, from early youth to ripe old age, has contributed
materially to the success of the Bremen cotton trade.



FLUCTUATIONS IN PRICES.


In the Spring of 1921, the following conversation might have been
overheard between an American and a German.

    A.: You see the consequences of the war are worse for the victor
    than for the vanquished.

    G.: Only apparently, and for the moment. The future, I fear, will
    teach us something different.

    A.: Nobody can look into the future. At the present minute, we
    witness the biggest economic collapse that the world has ever seen,
    all countries suffer from it, except Germany. All states had made
    preparations for peace, now the stored up goods are lying there and
    nobody wants them, not even Germany. We thought, that Germany, bare
    of everything, would swallow anything.

    G.: The reason is, that Germany cannot pay. Her gold and tangible
    gold values have been taken from her. Why do not the other
    countries buy? Their peace production has been lying idle for
    years, consequently, the shelves must be fairly empty.

    A.: Quite right, but prices have risen to an unreasonable height.
    During the war, a most wasteful regime prevailed; everybody made
    big profits or received huge wages, and accustomed himself to a
    most sumptuous life. Now, vengeance is upon them, for nature does
    not allow herself to be ravished, nor does she present gifts for
    extravagant living.

    G.: If prices have been driven to an unreasonable level by wasteful
    workings, then, a big decline in prices is the only remedy.

    A.: We are in the midst of a phenomenal collapse of prices. Cotton
    is a barometer for all other goods. The price in America is,
    to-day, 11 cents, a short while ago, it was 40 cents.

    G.: What does the planter say to this?

    A.: The cost of production is for him this season about 25-30 cents
    per pound. He has worked for nothing, and besides, loses a good
    deal of money, as his means are small, he will be heavily in debt.

    G.: And the further consequences?

    A.: The planter is absolutely unable to produce a similar crop. It
    is the old story, when prices are too low the crop will be
    curtailed.

    G.: We have always experienced that low prices are followed by high
    ones. What other consequences is this collapse in prices likely to
    have?

    A.: All cotton goods fall in the same proportion as the raw
    material, this means a bad crisis for commerce and industry, and an
    unprecedented amount of unemployment. Besides, this collossal drop
    in prices has caused other very peculiar situations.

    G.: Of what nature?

    A.: It is well known that cotton is rarely bought at a fixed price,
    but generally, at the "future" price of the day on which the buyer
    "calls" his cotton, plus or minus the agreed upon difference for
    the quality bought. Now, several American houses sold low qualities,
    at 12.50 cents "off". At that time, "futures" were 40 cents, so
    that the seller calculated to receive about 27.50 cents, to-day,
    "futures" are 11 cents, so that, if the buyer "calls" his cotton
    to-day, he receives it for nothing, and can claim 1.50 cents per
    pound as well.

    G.: Impossible! No German law would permit a buyer to demand his
    goods, without paying a price at all, and be justified in claiming
    money in addition from the seller.

    A.: What decision would the Bremen Cotton Exchange give? Two
    possibilities are to be taken into account. If the seller has taken
    a "future" contract as cover, he has no loss, even if he gives the
    cotton for nothing, and pays 1.50 cents in addition, because the
    difference in the "futures" indemnifies him. But if he has no
    "futures", what then? to part with valuable cotton for nothing, and
    pay good money as well, would exceed the demands of Shylock.

    G.: The "Bremen Cotton Exchange" would probably decline to
    adjudicate, it has the right to refer it to the ordinary law
    courts.

    A.: A hard nut to crack for the law!

German and American agree on the following:

    It is a peculiar thing that cotton has always new riddles in store
    for us. The fluctuations in prices are enough to drive a man mad.
    Woe to him, who is drawn into that maelstrom. The hedges are a
    safe guard against price fluctuations. The careful merchant thinks
    he is on solid ground, when, all of a sudden, the premium for the
    quality begins to rock and he wonders what is worse? the
    fluctuation of the "future" market, or those of the premiums.
    Hundreds of thousands of bales have been sold, at a premium of 10
    to 15 cents for goodmiddling, to-day, the premium is 3 cents, that
    spells hard times for the cotton market. It is a consolation, that
    bad times are quickly followed by good ones, and that the darkest
    hour is before dawn. Cotton typifies life and death, joy and
    sorrow. It is like an untamed animal, it deals serious wounds, it
    indulges in "buck jumps", that none can foretell, nobody has ever
    driven it in harness. And yet, he, who deals with it quietly,
    carefully and pluckily, will always remain fresh and full of life.

                            Cotton is king!



THE EXCHANGE BUILDING.


In the year 1902, the Bremen Cotton Exchange opened the doors to its
various tenants, and, as the outward appearance of a man has an
influence on the impression he makes upon us, so does the building
which houses the cotton trade, play its part. Previous to that date,
the business of the Exchange was carried on in rented rooms, but with
expanding trade, these became inadequate, and a new building was
contemplated; the idea was, to make the outward appearance worthy of
the importance of Bremen's cotton trade, with due consideration to the
local conditions. Bremen can boast of a thousand years history, and has
many fine examples of ancient architecture, notably around the market
place. There you find in the rich ornate style of the renaissance, the
"Rathaus" (town hall) and in another style, that however blends
harmoniously, is the "Schütting" (the seat of the chamber of commerce),
the "Dom" (cathedral), the "General Exchange", as well as a number of
private houses of a later date. The combined appearance of these
various buildings, form an imposing picture. The site for the new
exchange is situated in this very neighbourhood, consequently, a
building had to be designed that fitted in with the whole scheme.
Prominent architects competed, and the plans that gained the first
price were accepted, and commissioned for execution. Unfortunately, it
was proved later on, that the choice had not been a lucky one. The
architect adopted the style of the ancient "Rathaus", but the rich
ornamentations of this architecture, proved its doom. Beautiful as the
effect was on the smaller, gracefully built, Rathaus, yet on the
ponderous building of the "Exchange", it was utterly unsuitable, and
another thing the architect did not consider sufficiently: The old
guild masters, with their circumspection and devotion, erected
buildings to last an eternity, while now-a-days, all is hurry and
scurry, the sooner the job is finished the better, as fresh orders are
waiting. This may, possibly, be some excuse for the little care
bestowed upon the selection of the material. The soft sandstone
selected, was excellently suited to the quick sculpturing of the
over-rich ornaments, nevertheless, it was a ghastly mistake to have
chosen it. Ten years after the building was finished one of the
decorations, loosened by the weather, fell, and killed a member of the
Exchange. An examination showed that a great number of projecting
stones were so weatherworn, that they crumbled in the hand. An ugly
scaffolding had to be erected to protect the street traffic. Measures
were at once taken to construct the front of the building more solidly;
the most prominent experts were asked for their advice, but the war
broke out, and nothing could be done. During the first years after the
war, want of money prevented the starting of the repairs. These had
become more extensive, owing to the revolution, when the building had
been under artillery and rifle fire. At last, however, came the
propitious moment, when one could think seriously of beginning the
work. It was thought of raising half the estimated cost of 15 millions,
by voluntary contributions from the trade and the industry, and both
responded nobly to the call. But the moment the money was secured, most
of it melted quickly away, through the depreciation of the Mark.
Nevertheless, this day of the 50th anniversary sees the work in full
swing, and it will not be long, before the too richly carved front of
the building will have given place, to one of greater simplicity and
nobility, which better express the wishes of the Cotton Exchange. The
interior of the Exchange is entirely adapted to the needs of the
business, special attention is being paid to the light. The judging and
valuing of cotton, require a pure and clear day light, this is of such
importance, that it cannot receive too much consideration. A portion of
the building is reserved for the Cotton Exchange, while the remainder
is utilised as offices for the various cotton firms, unfortunately,
there is not room enough for all of them. It would be of great
advantage, if all the firms could be housed under one roof, and plans
for this are contemplated, but when they will be executed, depends
entirely upon the economic development of the future.



WORLD-WIDE BUSINESS.


A New-York commission agent, who has connections all over the world,
receives a telephonic message from Texas to sell 100 bales of
"futures". At the same moment, he receives a cable to buy a 100 bales
of "futures", both orders equalize each other, the execution is easy, a
few words on the telephone, a cable, a letter, and the business is
done. Such transactions are daily occurrences, they leave no particular
impression, nor call for any deep thought. And yet, it is very
interesting to probe deeply to find the origin of this business. A
planter in Texas has worked hard for six months with his entire family,
to raise his cotton crop. In the early days of Spring, the ground had
to be cleared and ploughed to prepare it for the seed. Then comes the
time of sowing, and soon afterwards, the weeds require attention.
Hardly have these been uprooted, when the injurious insects make their
appearance, they are destroyed by artificial means. Over and over
again, the fields require most careful attention, till, at last, the
cotton begins to ripen. In the broiling sun it is picked, and only
then, the planter is sure about the out-turn of his crop. The prices
are favorable at the moment, and he makes his calculations. For extra
help, he had spent so much, and for the frugal life of his family and
himself, a further amount was required, but the account was all right.
If he could obtain the present price for cotton, he could pay for
everything, and have a margin to the good. He decided to secure the
price by giving the afore-mentioned order.

In the family of a landed proprietor in Hungary, was joyful excitement,
the daughter of the house had become engaged to be married. The wedding
was to take place soon, and the question of the trousseau was
discussed. This, resulted in a visit to a merchant in a neighbouring
town, who discovered that his stocks had run too low for the reputation
of his business; at once, he gave a commission to the wholesale
merchant, who, in turn, sent a considerable order to the manufacturer.
Thus it goes on, till finally, the mill that spins the yarn, buys the
cotton in Bremen, where the merchant cables New-York, to cover the
"futures". The business, so unconcernedly done in New-York, had deep
lying reasons, which never came within the vision of the commission
agent. In a similar manner, the world's transactions are governed. We
do not look beyond our own particular horizon, we take what the minutes
bring us, without troubling our sluggish mind for the "whys" and
"wherefores". Nothing, however, is done in the world's eternal circle,
without cause and effect. Should our mental capacity be able to grasp
every transaction in its entirety, we should see, that a never ending
thread connects all of us who live and work.

When the thread is broken, disorder and confusion replace the
organisation, that is as finely balanced as the delicate works of a
clock, and endless trouble is required to piece the thread together
again.



CONCLUSION.


The jubilee of the "Bremen Cotton Exchange" takes place at a time, when
all economic conditions are in dire confusion. Never before, was the
economic life, embracing all countries, so finely spun, as in our
modern times, and now, the net is torn in untold places. The old
Europe, predominant for over two thousand years in all spheres, lies
bleeding from serious wounds, and the question is, what part will it
play in the future, what will be its fate? Finally lost is the dominant
position in the region of Finance. No longer does it reap the interests
and means, which originated from the economic assistance it gave to
countries in other parts of the globe. On the contrary, Europe, itself,
has to pay interests, and within Europe, between the different
countries, obstructions and impediments are heaped upon each other, to
surmount them, is a work for "giants"! The only consolation is, that it
is not the first time that Europe and our own Germany were in sore
distress. In all previous cases, it recuperated, and rose, like a
Phoenix, from the rejuvenating fire. The plague and other dread
epidemics have devastated towns and countries, wars have destroyed
peoples and their culture. Final ruin we see, only in cases, where
discord and lack of reason have permanently come to reign.

The continued depreciation of currency in the affected countries, is
one of the causes of the many grievances. No remedy has yet been
discovered for it, but it must be apparent to everybody, that the most
precious treasure possessed by man, is not GOLD, but "WORK"!

Work alone, however, is not in all circumstances a protection against
misery. The possibility must exist to use it correctly in exchange for
other goods. The overthrow of all to which we have been accustomed, is
likely to cloud our vision, but, ultimately, we have to acknowledge
that men and nations depend upon each other, and that, in the exchange
of our earthly goods, life and the pleasures of life can be found for
each individual.

Amidst all this oppression and tribulation, it is a blessing to be able
to look back upon a successful past. This privilege, however, has stern
duties: to keep up the traditions of the past, to adhere to the
approved fundamental principles, to regain the lost, to strive and
build up afresh.

With this determination, the Bremen Cotton Exchange celebrates its
fiftieth anniversary.





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