To James P. Birch, Manhattan manager of the Corn Exchange Bank Trust Co. [Letter 408]

Item Reference Code: 137_B3x_004_001

Date(s) of creation

October 29, 1949


James P. Birch


October 29, 1949

Mr. James P. Birch, Manager
Corn Exchange Bank Trust Co.
4th Avenue & 29th Street
New York 16, N. Y.

Dear Mr. Birch:

I am considering the purchase of a piece of property in Westchester County, and I wondered whether the Corn Exchange Bank has a service which could help me in this matter.

I would need the advice of some person experienced in real estate values who could appraise the particular property I have in mind, who could tell me if it is a good investment and negotiate the purchase with the owner, including the matter of bargaining for the proper price. If you have such a service, what would be your charge for it?

I am unable to come east in the immediate future so that if I decide to buy this property, it would have to be done on some expert advice. My interest is primarily from the angle of an investment—not with the aim of making a large profit on it, but with the aim of preserving the exchange value of the money I would pay for it. In other words, I would like to find property which I could sell in the future for an approximate equivalent, in purchasing power, of the money I would pay for it now. What I have in mind is to protect myself against a possible devaluation of the dollar. Could you tell me your opinion as to whether such a devaluation is likely to come in the next few years? I have read reports in the newspapers which seem to indicate that possibility.

With best regards,



Ayn Rand