BANKING: Gold Fever

In the financial centers of the world last week, the gold fever spread like the blood-tingling news of a rich new strike. Day after day on the New York Stock Exchange, the cheap stock of a Philippine gold-mining company, Benguet Consolidated Mining Co., was among the heaviest traded. Wall Street's Bache & Co. was busily selling unrefined gold (the only kind that can be legally held in the U.S.) at premium prices ($44 an ounce). In London, South African gold-mining stocks were ones eagerly bought in a falling market.

All this speculative fever had been stirred up by the hope that...

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