Turning Points in Business Cycles

By Leonard P. Ayres | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
THE DATA OF SECURITY ISSUES

THE student who wishes to use the statistics of American security issues has available six sources of data, and unfortunately the information of all of them falls short of being fully satisfactory. The source furnishing the earliest material is the listing statements of the New York Stock Exchange. Monthly data from these listing statements have been compiled as a part of this study for the 61 years from 1863 through 1923. The data do not have enough volume to be of much significance until about 1872. The series has been described in Chapter III.

These data cover the listing of securities of domestic, nonfinancial corporations which were shown by the statements to have been sold for cash. In many instances the statements do not give information clearly showing whether the sales were made for money or in exchange for properties or other securities, and in such cases the issues were omitted from the compilations. These numerous omissions constitute one of the shortcomings of the new series. The data include both the securities sold to obtain new capital and those floated to refund old issues, and the near impossibility of tabulating the two classes separately is another shortcoming.

The data cover the listings on only one exchange, and they omit most railroad equipment issues, and most note issues. In the early years they consist almost entirely of data of bond issues, for in the early decades of the series stocks were seldom listed until long after they had been issued. The new series furnishes us with a probably trustworthy indicator of the major changes in the volume of the public takings of new corporate securities that were sold for money. Its great value is that it covers many decades in which we have no other source of similar information.

-53-

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