My ancestors recorded property right claims with a central registrar in the no-mans land of Oregon when the region had no legitimately recognized government. The people of the region followed customs of law and governance share among the English and Americans, with the anticipation that their property rights claims would later be recognized by the U. S. government when the region became part of the United States. The story is recounted in Nimrod: Courts, Claims and Killing on the Oregon Frontier by Ronald Lansing of the Lewis & Clark School of Law. Yes, remarkably enough, the story is a murder mystery.
A paraphrase of de Soto on the crash: “The basic problem with the financial meltdown today is that with all the convoluted derivatives, trades, bundling, etc. the US does not know where its financial paper is. Thus, the US cannot define who is solvent and who is not. The “Rule of Law” comes into play because property ownership is based on a paper trail. Since the paper trail is incomplete regarding detailed ownership of the property underlying the complex derivatives that were sold in the financial industry, no one knows who owns exactly what and what it is worth. As a result, trust plummets.”