The Banking Crisis…

… explained.

I heard the first 50 minutes or so of a one hour edition of This American Life dedicated to explaining the banking crisis in terms that can be understood by any reasonable smart (or even not so smart) person. The bottom line: Nationalize the banks, then re-privatize them as soon as possible. One expert said it this way: If you covered up the name of the country involved and showed the numbers to any World Bank operative, they would all say the same thing. Nationalize the banks right now, then re-privatize them as soon as you can. And round up the head bankers and put them on a hay cart. (I may have added the part about the hay cart.)

You should be able to get to a podcast of the show here.

Comments

  1. #1 Christophe Thill
    March 2, 2009

    “Nationalize the banks, then re-privatize them as soon as possible”

    Well of course. Once you’ve pulled them out of the tarpit, you wouldn’t want to prevent them to wander next to it again, would you?

  2. #2 Dan J
    March 2, 2009

    I’m much more interested in pursuing the hay cart idea. Bill Maher had a good idea along these lines as well. Perhaps hanging the remains of one of them from the board at the NYSE would be a great reminder to the others in the business.

  3. #3 Wayne Conrad
    March 2, 2009

    By nationalization, do you mean the government steps in to temporarily run the place during which time it sells off the pieces that are not rancid, flushes the rest down the toilet, fires all of the board members and officers, and finally lets the failed organization go away, transferring insured accounts to other organizations? Then you betcha! Same way it was done during the S&L failures.

    “Running out of town on a rail” is an old custom that I think we need to bring back. But not just for the bank officers and board members: where were the regulators when the banks were stretching their asset ratios past the elastic limit?

  4. #4 Nathan Myers
    March 2, 2009

    Yes, whatever happened to placing members of the Previous Administration in stocks in the public square?

  5. #5 Joel
    March 2, 2009

    That would be fun to watch. With the way the Conservatives have taken to calling Obama a socialist, Nationalizing the banks would send them over the edge.

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