By my count 60% of the big railroads (> 500 miles of track) had at least one receivership by the end of 1937. And the average railroad went through 1 receivership (because several went through 2 to 4 during this period).-Private Email
And two: following up on several private email exchanges, and having demonstrated my willingness to speak off the top of my head, let me venture a more hazardous thought. I do indeed think there is much (more) to be said about the culture of bankruptcy law--in particular, how the old-fashioned "receivership" practice was a province of old-style up-market white-shoe lawyers, Episcopalians from Princeton. The role of white-shoe lawyers receded with the end of the Great Depression; they were supplanted by a wave of tummelers, hondlers and schnorrers who had learned their trade in the streets--yes, mostly Jews, many of them out here for the usual reason: they were excluded from more respectable lines of work. I don't know the resumes in detail but my own mentor, Jack Stutman, worked his way through Harvard as a tour guide on the Grey Lines bus--he liked to say his father was ahead of his time, having gone broke in 1926, years before the Great Depression. When Stutman came to LA after WWII, he started in-house at CBS because that was where he got a job. He soon went on his own and built a career for himself in the hazardous but rewarding profession of taking lemons and making lemonade. I suspect a lot of old-timers in this bar have similar stories.
There's much more to be said here: my friend anon likes to say that Catholics make good mortgage lawyers because of all the time they spent puzzling over their Latin homework in Jesuit high school. Yada yada and I do not know all the details, but I suspect that here we have a clue as to why the WSJ was so uncomprehending in the first place.