Put away the hammer: Nationalizing banks won't solve the financial crisis


The new in thing among the cool kids in the world of finance is to do what they did in Sweden. Let's nationalize the banks! Backing this idea are current and former Fed Chairs, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, the doomster Nouriel Roubini, and Simon Johnson, a former IMF economist who teaches at MIT.

They could be wrong in recommending that we nationalize the banks, and fear that it might happen is driving down banks stocks -- Citigroup (C) fell 20% and Bank of America (BAC) has fallen 14%. But their comments raise some basic questions: What does 'nationalizing the banks' mean? Will it happen in the U.S.? And who would be the winners and losers?