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subscribing at par for the shares to be issued, in
the proportion of one-third for the founders,
and of two-thirds for the shareholders. The
definitive vouchers (titres) of the shares
belong to the bearer. The partial payments
are stated by a certificate delivered to the
subscriber, negotiable by way of transfer.
The original subscriber and the persons to
whom shares have been ceded are liable to a
claim until the integral amount of such
shares has been paid. [The whole number
of shares has since been issued, and the whole
amount of each share paid up.] The
Assemblée is composed of the two hundred
largest shareholders. Each of them has a
vote for every forty shares which he holds;
only, no individual person can have more
than five votes. The nett profits are annually
disposed of thus: first, five per cent. on the
capital of the shares issued; secondly, five
per cent. for the reserve fund, whose maximum
is fixed at two millions. The surplus
is distributed in the form of dividends in the
proportion of one-tenth for the administrators,
and nine-tenths for the shares.

Article five of the statutes defines the
object of the Company. The operations of
the Société shall consistfirst, in subscribing
to or acquiring public property (effets), the
shares or the obligations of the different
industrial or financial enterprises, constituted
as Sociétés anonymes, and notably those of
railways, canals, mines, and other public
works, already founded, or to be founded.
Secondly [which, please, mark well], in issuing
its own obligations for a sum equal to that
employed for these subscriptions and
acquisitions. Thirdly, in selling or in giving as
security for loans, all acquired property,
shares, and obligations, and in changing them
for other property (valeurs). Fourthly, in
subscribing (soumissioner) for all loans, in
granting them and realising them, as well as
all undertakings of public works. Fifthly, in
lending on public property, on deposits of
shares and obligations, and in opening credits
of current accounts on the deposit of these
diverse properties. Sixthly, in receiving sums
in current account. Seventhly, in effecting
all receipts (recouvrements) in behalf of the
aforesaid companies, in paying their coupons
of interest or of dividends, and generally all
other orders. Eighthly, in keeping a bank
of deposit for the vouchers of these
enterprises. It is expressly understood that the
society shall never make "ventes à decouvert,"
that is, shall not sell property of which it is
not possessed,—nor make "achats à primes,"
that is, gambling purchases of a peculiar
nature which would require a quarter of a
page of foot-note to explain to the
uninitiated.

By article six, all other operations are
prohibited. It is expressly understood that the
Société will never make ready money sales
nor purchases, at a premium. Crédit Mobilier,
therefore, regarded in the light of economic
science, is an industrial bank, a vast
undertaking of sleeping partners; it is an enormous
joint-stock bank whose customers are
themselves capitalists and bankers. As far as the
operations of the Bourse are concerned, it is
a centralisation of stock-jobbing. The Crédit
Foncier, without exposing itself to be laid
quite bare, outsteps the Bank of France in
boldness, by issuing a number of obligations
equal to the amount of its loans on mortgage.
But Crédit Mobilier approaches the verge of
temerity. By article seven of the statutes,
until the complete issue of the shares, the
obligations created by the Société must not
exceed five times the capital realised. After
the complete issue of the social fund (that is,
now), they may reach a sum equal to ten
times the capital. That is to say, with sixty
millions of capital, it can issue six hundred
millions of obligations! And what is the
guarantee of these obligations? Just this,
the fundamental capital plus an equal sum
employed in the subscription to, and the
acquisition of, public property and the shares
of companies! Whether such a guarantee
is altogether illusory, it is not for us to say;
because the grand smash has not yet come,
After it has come, we may say what we like;
locking the stable-door ever so fast will not
bring back the stolen horse, any more than
floods of bitterest milkmaid's tears will
restore spilt milk to the milk-pail again.
The slightest fall at the Bourse must
depreciate the pledges in the shape of public
property and shares of companies; and the
capital of shares is also reduced. If the paper
vouchers suffer a diminution of value of only
one-tenth, the capital of shares is absorbed,
and the Société becomes actually bankrupt.

An institution which should lend on
securities and on mortgages, a sum equal to the
reputed value of the pledge, would expose
itself to danger; because there is no certainty
that a sale would produce the price estimated,
This is exactly the case with Crédit Mobilier.
Crédit Mobilier, on its own account, acquires,
at its own risk and peril, shares and
vouchers; it becomes absolute proprietor of
them. It has no further claim on the sellers
from the instant of their delivery into its hands.
Depreciation in value is its affair, and nobody
else's, as rise in value will be its profit. If, then,
after it has purchased its six hundred millions'
worth of propertyif there come a fallthat
property is no longer any guarantee for its
six hundred millions of obligations issued.
And, as its capital only amounts to one-tenth
of what it is liable for, and the shareholders
are only answerable for the amount of their
quota, the fall of a tenth annihilates Crédit
Mobilier's substance, and reduces it to
insolvency.

As an instrument of circulation and stock-
jobbing, the organisation of the general
society is the conception of a master-spirit.
It betrays, at once, the nationality of its
author, and the revolutionary spirit of its

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