By Wyatt Earp | February 18, 2009
Embrace socialism, beyotches!
Long regarded in the US as a folly of Europeans, nationalisation is gaining rapid acceptance among Washington opinion-formers – and not just with Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve chairman. Perhaps stranger still, many of those talking about nationalising banks are Republicans.
Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator for South Carolina, says that many of his colleagues, including John McCain, the defeated presidential candidate, agree with his view that nationalisation of some banks should be “on the table”.
Oh, absolutely. Hell, while we’re at it, why not nationalize health care, the schools, the media, and fabulous babes?
Mr Graham says that people across the US accept his argument that it is untenable to keep throwing good money after bad into institutions such as Citigroup and Bank of America, which now have a lower net value than the amount of public funds they have received.
“You should not get caught up on a word [nationalisation],” he told the Financial Times in an interview. “I would argue that we cannot be ideologically a little bit pregnant. It doesn’t matter what you call it, but we can’t keep on funding these zombie banks [without gaining public control]. That’s what the Japanese did.”
Oh sure. We’ll nationalize the banks, but not use the word “nationalize.” Good plan, Lindsey. Jackass!
Barack Obama, the president, who has tried to avoid panicking lawmakers and markets by entertaining the idea, has moved more towards what he calls the “Swedish model” – an approach backed strongly by Mr Graham. In the early 1990s Sweden nationalised its banking sector then auctioned banks having cleaned up balance sheets. “In limited circumstances the Swedish model makes sense for the US,” says Mr Graham. (H/T – FT.com)
I agree. I prefer the Swedish model . . .
. . . but not a Swedish model for nationalization of the banks.