Direct U.S. Stake in Banks Has Many Precedents

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), October 15, 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Direct U.S. Stake in Banks Has Many Precedents

Byline: Associated Press

WASHINGTON For all the thorny free-market issues raised, the big U.S. intervention in banks does have precedents from wholesale wartime takeovers of entire industries to the seizing of hundreds of failed savings and loans in the 1980s. Most nationalizations have been temporary, but some endure, like Amtrak.

The government has taken stakes in banks, railways, steel mills, coal mines and foreclosed homes.

During World War I, the government nationalized railroads, telegraph lines and the Smith & Wesson Company. During World War II, it seized railroads, coal mines, Midwest trucking operators and many other companies and even, briefly, retailer Montgomery Ward.

Not all takeover efforts go through. President Truman tried to nationalize the steel industry in 1952 to avert a strike he claimed would hurt Korean War efforts. But the Supreme Court stopped him, saying he failed to cite any legislative authority.

Others can last and last. One major friendly takeover remains today: the government-owned National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak since May 1971.

In 1984, Washington seized the failing Continental Illinois Bank and Trust. It continued to exist, with some 80 percent of its shares owned by the federal government, until 1994, when it was acquired by what is now Bank of America among the first banks in which the Bush administration will take an ownership stake.

The Resolution Trust Corp. took over more than a thousand failed savings and loan institutions in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including an array of bad loans and foreclosed homes. It took six years and $125 billion in tax dollars to clean up that mess.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Direct U.S. Stake in Banks Has Many Precedents


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?