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WHAT '44' EDITOR GARANCE FRANKE-RUTA IS READING TODAY»
U.S. Clears Path to Bank Takeovers Washington Post | Post financial writers report that the government has changed the terms of the bailout loans to allow "banks to repay the government with common stock rather than cash. ... The change paves a road toward nationalization for the most troubled large banks."
Why Doesn't the Government Own Citigroup Outright? American Prospect | As the debate over nationalization heats up, Dean Baker asks what the change means for Citibank. How can the government, he asks, lend a company $45 billion through purchase of preferred shares and guarantee another $300 billion in bad assets, on a day when the company's market value was $20 billion, without owning the company outright should those shares be converted to common shares?
Banking on the Brink New York Times | Also making the case for nationalization? Paul Krugman, who called it, on Sunday, as "American as apple pie."
The Problem With 'Nationalization' Wall Street Journal | But wait, certainly one will find the opposing view on the Wall Street Journal, right? At first, in this editorial by Cato's Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr., it appears not, as he praises the Swedish model of bank nationalization. But then he concludes it would be impossible to replicate in America and that, instead, "we need to find ways to extricate banks from government's deadly embrace. ... If a bank is too big to fail, then it is simply too big. Those institutions need to be downsized until their failure would no longer constitute a systemic risk."

By Ben Pershing  |  February 24, 2009; 8:10 AM ET
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