OT - The Proper Use Of History

As we are oft encouraged to remember the lessons of History so as not to repeat them. let us not think that all of the lessons are negative.
Although I suspect that neither Gibbons, nor Toynbee ever said, "Been there, done that.", in that exact form, they would perhaps have enjoined us to take solace from History when it is available.
History need not always be our scourge. It can shed the happy light of Perspective onto our poor lives and, although it is not charged to 'ravel up the tattered sleeve of care', it can provide the peaceful precondition to enter into that good night's sleep.
It was in that spirit that I began mucking about on Mount Googoltha in search of The Good News and that is -
Been There, Done That.
What lies below is an edited version of my findings, coming mostly from a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, which organ of the Fourth Estate (albeit some may suggest that this particular bleeds over into the proper purview of The Fifth) I find to be the healthiest and most Fair and Balanced, to coin a phrase.
The Panic of 1792 - The federal government assumed obligations that such states as Massachusetts and South Carolina owed from the Revolutionary War.
The Panic of 1819 - States passed laws delaying foreclosures on real estate and personal property.
The Panic of 1841 - Another bout of financial volatility sent land values plummeting. States that had been depending on land taxes suddenly found themselves short of cash; nine of them defaulted on their debts.
The Panic of 1907 - The Treasury injected millions of dollars into the banking system. But it was really J. Pierpont Morgan, the banking magnate and undisputed king of New York financial markets, who saved the day.
The Great Depression - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress created the Home Owners' Loan Corp., an ambitious government agency designed to prevent foreclosures on an enormous scale. The agency bought defaulted mortgages from banks, then refinanced them at lower rates for fixed, 15-year terms. Over the three years it accepted applications, the agency was swamped with 1.9 million requests; about half of the applicants had monthly incomes of between $50 and $150. Ultimately, the agency issued mortgages, averaging $3,039 apiece, to some one million homeowners. About one in 10 Americans with nonfarm, owner-occupied dwellings secured aid from the agency, according to a 1951 paper by C. Lowell Harriss of Columbia University. The current mortgage crisis involves securities backed by subprime home loans. But during the 1930s, there was no secondary market for securitized mortgages. So the agency had to hold the mortgages for the full terms. It finally closed up shop in 1951, with about 80% of borrowers having paid their loans off on time or early. The agency earned the government a small profit.
Savings and Loan Crisis - From 1986 through 1995, about half of the 3,234 S&Ls in the U.S. closed, leaving federal insurers stuck with tens of billions of dollars in bad loans. In 1989, after eight months of debate, Congress created the Resolution Trust Corp. to make depositors whole, investigate allegations of wrongdoing and deal with the husks of the S&L industry. At the time, skeptics warned that government was reaching too far into the marketplace, and predicted darkly the RTC would be saddled with bad assets for generations. Indeed, the government ended up owning shopping centers, homes and resorts, along with an odd collection of assets put up as collateral for S&L loans, including Picasso and Warhol paintings, a 30-horse merry-go-round, a Colonial-era whiskey distillery, a drawstring made from Martha Washington's gown and 800 units of semen from a registered Brahma bull. By the time the S&L cleanup was over, it had cost U.S. taxpayers about $124 billion in non-inflation-adjusted dollars, according to FDIC research. Mr. Davison, the FDIC historian, wrote in a 2006 journal article: "Perhaps a measure of the RTC's success is that little more than a decade after it closed, this agency that provoked so much debate is now largely forgotten."
And we are still here.
It is not Macbeth that murders sleep - it is CNN.
"Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
tom watson tom watson
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My apologies.
I meant to quote, "...knit up the ravelled sleeve of care."
tom watson
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