Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/267

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
263
EUROPEAN AGRICULTURE

that can be bought at any time and is always negotiable. Such organizations serve as an economic saving between borrower and lender. The man in America at the present time who wishes to invest his money in farm mortgages must seek out such loans personally or through an agent. The punctuality with which the interest will be paid and the loan when it falls due will depend upon the personality of the farmer. But such is not the case when the loans are made through a land mortgage association and the investor instead of lending direct to the farmer buys the bonds of the association; he then knows that his interest will be paid as punctually as on a government bond; that his security has a market value and can be sold for cash any clay through his bank. The establishment of the land mortgage association and selling its bonds on the open market opens up a field for investment that is now practically closed to a large class of investors.

One thing to be emphasized in regard to the success of the European systems is the fact that it has been largely due to the direct oversight that the governments have had over them. Without this government relationship they could not have commanded the confidence of the public that they have. It is hopeless to expect an equal degree of success for similar institutions in America unless they are also organized under government control, at least to the extent that the public will have absolute confidence in their solvency.