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The Big Guns Are Out

President George W. Bush, the Treasury Dept., the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are all out in force today, as they should be. You own a piece of some of our biggest banks today.

Bush went first, explaining to the American people that Washington will invest $250 billion in the nation’s banks. The Treasury Dept. will take equity stakes in banks, which have been pressed into accepting partial nationalization in return for an investment of taxpayer money. The FDIC is set to talk about launching an insurance fund to guarantee new issues of bank debt.

Bush defended the move, saying it’s not an abandonment of the free market.

Angry Bear puts it this way:

I’ve always wanted to have my very own bank…

The Big Picture has a rundown of which banks will get the money – and how much they’ll get. And a little commentary on the fact that, as unthinkable as partially nationalizing banks may seem, it should have happened far sooner:

Here we are, more than one year into the credit crisis, and long after the collapse of Bear Stearns, and a month after Lehman Bros., AIG, WAMU, Fannie/Freddie, Wachovia, etc. and we are getting a capital injection into the key banks.

As we noted yesterday, Paulson (and to a lesser degree, Bernanke) were way behind the curve in recognizing the Housing, Economy and Credit issues.

Although Paulson was against the capital injection, the Fed chair was not. As Krugman noted yesterday, “this was also the solution privately favored by Ben Bernanke.”

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It may not have happened as quickly as it should have, but it’s reality now.

Maybe you should feel the pride of ownership when you walk past a Citigroup or Bank of America branch today.

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