"Despotic rulers ... manipulate the currency, to make the economic position of the State appear better than it is in reality. ... They expand the superstructure of the State while undermining its foundations--by breeding sycophants at the expense of self-respecting collaborators, by appealing to the popular taste for the grandiose and sensational instead of true values, and by fostering a romantic instead of a realistic view--thus enabling the ultimate collapse, under their succesors if not themselves, of what they have created", 20. "Thus the thinking man must be against authoritarianism in any form--because it shows its fear of thoughts which do not suit momentary authority", 21. "Civilization is built on the practice of keeping promises", 33.
"The British people and their leaders are so politically-minded that they seem to be quite incapable of grasping the natural workings of the military mind abroad in the matter of foreign relations", 38. "One of the clear lessons that history teaches is that no agreement between governments has had any stability beyond their recognition that it is in their own interests to continue to adhere to it", 52.
Source, Why Don't We Learn From History, B.H. Liddell Hart (BLH), 1944, my favorite historical essay. Why now? Why cite this now? Because in the current SFAS 140 flap, many have engaged in "documentary history". A bank-created piece of paper supporting non-consolidation of its QSPEs will not impress me. It's a piece of paper. So? BLH writes, "The French were often more subtle; a general could safeguard the lives of his his men as well as his own reputation by writing orders, based on a situation that did not exist, for an attack that nobody carried out--while everybody shared in the credit, since the record went on the file", 9.
A bank produces 1,000 pages of "file stuffer" to justify QSPE non-consolidation and "we" should genuflect in the "file stuffer's" presence? Why? It was prepared contemporaneously, it is admissible in court as a "business record" after "authentication" by the "records custodian". So? Using Robert Steel's "royal we", "We are not impressed", favorably. If a bank should repurchase its QSPE's assets after they are "modified", what can I conclude? The bank is run by barbarians, running to government "bully boys" to abrogate its contracts. Oliver Wendell Holmes once explained contracts this way: a contract is an agreement to do something and get something. And if you don't do it, to pay damages. This is so simple, what's not to understand? How much in damages should the banks pay the holders of QSPE assets? Tens of billions I guess.