We’re All Swedes Now?

Barack Obama says he is moving toward a Swedish Model of nationalizing banks. You thought the Dow was down today. I have a feeling we haven’t seen anything yet. From the Financial Times:

Barack Obama, the president, who has tried to avoid panicking lawmakers and markets by entertaining the idea, has recently 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 their balance sheets. “In limited circumstances the Swedish model makes sense for the US,” said Mr Graham.

Mr Obama made it clear last week that he favoured this model over the piecemeal approach taken in Japan, which many would argue is the direction US public policy appears to be heading.

“They [the Japanese] sort of papered things over,” Mr Obama said. “They never really bit the bullet . . . and so you never got credit flowing the way it should have, and the bad assets in their system just corroded the economy for a long period of time.”

Senior administration officials acknowledge that the financial rescue plan unveiled by Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, last week could result in the temporary nationalisation of some weak banks.

Obama eyes Swedish model for US banks
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