Thursday, May 14, 2009

Does This Sound LIke Something From the USSR?

I just read a quite scary (to me) article today about the forced "govermentizing" of banks, in the form of the government buying bank equity shares. The article is called "Paulson gave banks no choice on government stakes: memos" According to the article, the press now has hold of documents outlining Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's talking points to banks telling them that the government will be buying bank shares and informing banks that they have no choice about this fate.

But there was one quote that caught my attention. Am I crazy, or does this sound like something out of the USSR. (Just add a Russian accent, if you'd like.)

"If a capital infusion is not appealing, you should be aware your regulator will require it in any circumstance," the document said, citing Paulson talking points.

It has been a while since I've read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and I am not really a big fan of Rand, but I can't help but think back to her book and (if I recall it correctly) the government takeover of the railroads.

Scary, scary stuff.

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