To Nationalize or Not?

A loyal reader asks me whether we should nationalize the banks or not.  I am reminded of a joke that was said to be popular in Poland at the time of Solidarity (from rec.humor.funny)

A man goes into the Bank of Gdansk to make a deposit. Since he has never kept money in a bank before, he is a little nervous.

“What happens if the Bank of Gdansk should fail?” he asks.

“Well, in that case your money would be insured by the Bank of Warsaw.”

“But, what if the Bank of Warsaw fails?”

“Well, there’d be no problem, because the Bank of Warsaw is insured by the National Bank of Poland.”

“And if the National Bank of Poland fails?”

“Then your money would be insured by the Bank of Moscow.”

“And what if the Bank of Moscow fails?”

“Then your money would be insured by the Great Bank of the Soviet Union.”

“And if that bank fails?”

“Well, in that case, you’d lose all your money. But, wouldn’t it be worth it?”

We have lost all our money, but it seems not to be worth it.  Let’s at least put the shareholders and executives out of their misery, nationalize, and start over.

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