WASHINGTON - Close to 1,000 Resolution Trust Corp. employees gathered Monday to celebrate the fact that they've worked themselves out of jobs.

The RTC, formed in 1989 to resolve the thrift crisis, will close at the end of the month. The RTC's "Sunset Celebration" featured video highlights, a high school marching band, and a group of employees singing a rewritten rendition of "Those Were the Days."

The gathering at the Interior Department's auditorium was strangely upbeat, considering half the people there will be out of a job Dec. 31. The crowd enthusiastically applauded speakers who ticked off the agency's achievements: 747 failed thrifts resolved, almost $500 billion in assets sold, and $2.3 billion recovered from wrongdoers.

"Over the last six years, a mission impossible became a mission accomplished," said Ricki Helfer, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

"You have enriched and restored the public's confidence in our banking system," Ms. Helfer said. "At the end of the year the RTC story will end, but the nation will continue to benefit from your experiences."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.