Déjà Vu All Over Again


Déjà Vu All Over Again

Neil Irwin and David Cho of the Washington Post report this historical note:

In the 1920s, a firm called First National City Bank started repackaging bad loans from Latin America and selling these to investors as safe securities. These investments collapsed in grand fashion after the 1929 stock market crash and eventually led to a new wave of securities regulation. National City Bank became Citibank, which in turn became a major unit of Citigroup.

No wonder Citigroup keeps changing its name.

 Doctrinaire Republican market-worshippers “deregulated” those depression-era securities protections eight years ago. Were the consequences so surprising?

“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” said George Santayana. If Santayana is too difficult for our leaders, perhaps they can heed the words of philosopher Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra: 

“You can observe a lot just by watching.”
” A nickel isn’t worth a dime today.”
“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”


Full disclosure: For three years back in the last century, writer Mike Licht held a scut job at the compliance office of Citicorp Investments.

Note: While many adages are attributed to Mr. Berra, not all have been verified, and half the lies they tell about him aren’t true.


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