Business, Finance & Economics

Swedish bailout lessons

BL says Sweden's bailout was carefully crafted to protect Swedish taxpayers: we made it clear and have emergency legislation to say shareholders have to pay first and can't sit tight and just have their position. To restore confidence was to issue a blanket guarantee for all creditors in the Swedish banking system. We also implemented packages which could liquidate in an orderly fashion banks that have great problems in order to make some kind of restoration of the banks in better shape. (Juxtapose that with what's happening in the U.S.) The proposal would allow the Treasury to buy assets but that could be a boost to shareholders' value and the taxpayer has to pay the difference. It's a necessity that there is a comprehensive government intervention but the shareholders have to pay first. (What's the #1 asset you have in your experience that the U.S. could borrow right now?) We borrowed some experience from the U.S. Great Depression banking crisis but the main difference is the hesitation for the government to be owners of banks. But when government is needed it has to be strong because you can recover more money for taxpayers. (How did events in 1933, as opposed to 1929 when the Great Depression started, affect the Swedish model?) FDR won the election and he became president in 1933 and his new administration closed down all banks and then investigated their standing. They put banks into three categories, which we used also, which were the banks that could be liquidated orderly, which banks could be helped, etc. (Is there anything happening in Sweden on a ground level that is a direct result of the meltdown here?) Yes, it's more expensive to finance housing here as well so people want action taken quickly in the U.S.

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