A "crisis" gives politicians a chance to solve problems, usually problems created by policies put in place by the very same politicians.
In 1933 Congress created the Home Owners Loan Corp to solve the mortgage problem.
While the current mortgage meltdown and resulting — or corresponding, depending on your point of view — housing bust has been described as the worst since the Great Depression, it is nothing when compared to what happened in ‘33, when a financial and economic collapse occurred that is all but impossible to imagine today.
Back then, about half of all mortgage debt was in default. Unemployment reached 25%, thousands of banks and savings and loans had failed and annual mortgage lending had fallen by some 80%. New residential construction had dropped by 80% as well.
The article concludes that it was much worse in 1933.Read the rest here.