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for the action of the court of directors, rather than in clog. ging the proceedings and diminishing the discretion of the Governor. All the joint-stock banks of England are organized with a like self-depending executive, under the name of General Manager; and a bank organized thus to grant loans at all times during its business hours, will present a great inducement to customers over a bank whose discounts are accorded at only stated days, and after a protracted deliberation by directors—loans being often useful only when obtained promptly. Even the due protesting of dishonored paper, and notifying of endorsers—the enforcement of payment, or the obtainment of security on debts which prove to be unsafe, will all wholesomely fall under the control of the chief executive, by reason that the vigilance of one person can control them better than a divided vigilance; and that the debts having come into the bank by his agency, his self-love is interested in their collectability. He must feel a like responsibility against losses by forgery, over-drawn accounts, the depredation of burglars, and the peculation of subalterns. To secure, in the highest degree, his vigilance in these particulars, he should be entrusted with the selection of all subordinate agents, even of the notary and attorneys. At least none should be appointed or retained with whom he is not satisfied. His self-respect cannot be too much fostered by the Board, and no measure should be enforced, and no loans granted, which can wound his sensibility, or diminish his influence with his subordi. nates or the customers of the bank. The more he can thus be brought to identify himself with the bank, the more the bank will be exempt from the disadvantages which make corporations contrast unfavorably with private establishments; and which a proverb alludes to in saying that "what is everybody's business is nobody's.” So great is the assimilation to their bank which some managers attain, that a poignancy of solicitude in relation to the debts of the bank, the preservation of its credit, and the productiveness of its capital, becomes the greatest evil of their position; especially when they are predisposed to morbid nervousness, which, with disease of the heart, their position induces and fosters. Such a man will obtain from his Board all the information it can yield in relation to the pecuniary responsibility of his dealers; and the directors should give him their opinion--not mandatory, which would relieve his responsibility, but to inform his judgment; though he will soon discover that his only safe guide will consist of his feelings, founded on personal observations often too subtle to be described, much less enumerated.


His salary should be liberal, for nature will not otherwise produce the activity of mind and body that is essential to his duties. Besides, he must engage in no private business, and will possess neither leisure nor taste to attend minutely to his domestic expenses. No salary can equal in value the devotion of such an officer ; still extravagance is unwise as an example, and unnecessary as a stimulant. The more capable the officer, the more he will appreciate money ; and instances are frequent where bank services of the most valuable kind are accorded on salaries that would be deemed unsatisfactorily small by officers whose habits are less suited for the station.


The duties of a board will rather commence than end with the appointment of its executive. duties are supervisory. Nature aids the discharge of such duties when the supervisor is distinct from the supervised;

Their proper indeed, one of the most difficult tasks of a supervisor consists in restraining the undue captiousness that is natural to the position. The President of the Bank, as head of the corporation, cannot perform too efficiently supervisory duties, and he may well be entitled to a pecuniary compensation therefor. He should deem them under his special charge, but not to supersede therein the modified duties of the other directors. Supervision over the Manager's official proceedings will be as salutary to him as proper to the Board. Darkness is proverbially unfavorable to purity, but only by reason of the concealment it creates; every other means of concealment is equally productive of impurity. A man can easily reconcile to his judgment and conscience what cannot be reconciled to disinterested supervisors; hence, if an officer knows so little of human nature as to deem supervision offensive, he is unfit to be trusted. That the supervision may be full, it must be systematic. Every director will usually attend meetings of the Board, in a degree inverse to their frequency; but twice a week, or certainly once, where the bank is not very small, will be as short as is compatible with a due inspection, singly, of the loans, in some regular order, that may have been granted by the Manager, since the last session of the Board. The directors will thus learn individually, whether the power to make loans has been prudently exercised, and he will learn the opinion which any of the Board may express in relation to the borrowers or their sureties, especially in cities where borrowers are generally known to the Board ; and a Manager may advantageously defer to it the consummation of many loans in relation to which his own information is questionable, or about which he desires time to deliberate. Such a deferring will often constitute a less offensive mode of avoiding an objectionable discount, than

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a direct and personal refusal ; though truly the kindest act a banker can perform, next to granting a loan, is to promptly inform an applicant that he cannot succeed, when the banker knows the loan will not be granted.


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The supervision of the Board must be as comprehensive as the powers of the Manager. The revision of loans will enable the Board to ascertain, not merely the solvency of the bank's assets, but whether its business is conducted without partiality, or unwholesome bias of any kind. Nearly every undue partiality possesses concomitants that may lead to its detection--for instance, an unusual laxity of security, or length of credit; with unusual frequency of renewals in a direct form, or an indirect, so as to screen the operations. A manager, properly sensitive of his reputation, and properly diffident of his natural infirmities, will be reluctant to grant loans to his relatives or special friends, and never to himself, or any person with whose business operations he is connected. To enable directors to judge of these particulars, a regular attendance at the stated meetings is necessary; but memory alone must not be relied on, except to suggest queries, which should always be capable of solution by proper books and indexes, that must be within reach of the directors, who should habitually inspect the books, that the practice may, in no case, seem an invidious peculiarity. In all scrutinies, however, the directors should remember that in mere judgment and expediency they may differ from the Manager, and he may still be right; for banking constitutes his business, while to then it is an incidental occupation. Lenity is proper even to his undoubted errors, when they are of a nature which experience may correct; but time will only inveter

ate bad intentions, and their first unequivocal appearance should produce an unrelenting forfeiture of his office.


The Board must understand the liabilities of the bank to its depositors, bank-note holders, and other creditors; also the funds of the bank, and its available resources ; so as to judge how far the honor of the bank is safe in the care of its Manager. The characters of depositors and borrowers are also proper subjects of general scrutiny in the Board, by reason that the reputation of a bank is inferrable from the reputation of its dealers ;—not that disreputable people should be rejected as depositors, but a bank is not an exception to the proverb which speaks of “birds of a feather;" and when the customers of a bank are generally respectable in their character and business, we may be sure that the management of the bank is at least ostensibly moral and mercantile.



The ticklers" of a bank are books which show in detail the debts due prospectively to a bank, and the days of payment. The aggregate footing of the ticklers will accordingly exhibit the amount of loans not yet matured, and inductively the amount that is past due. The information which relates to the amount past due is often given reluctantly, but a knowledge of it is vastly important in the proper supervision of the bank; and when tested by the ticklers, the information cannot well be deceptious, or evaded. In knowing the amount of past-due loans, the Board can pretty accurately conjecture the character of the bank's customers. Such loans should be satisfactorily explained by the Manager, and the means he is taking in

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