Nationalization, De-Nationalization, Re-Nationalization: Some Historical and Comparative Perspective
32 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2009 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010
Date Written: November 24, 2009
The history of banking in the United States is the history of competing impulses, one motivated by ideology, the other by pragmatism. Against ideological preferences for federalism and relatively laissez-faire capitalism, pragmatic responses to crises have lead repeatedly to attempts at centrally planned regulatory intervention into lending. While the degree of intervention fluctuates through time in response to various crises, it is never accurate to characterize banking and housing finance industries as either fully nationalized or fully de-nationalized. Examining banking and housing finance industries in nations with diverse histories and systems of government reveals surprisingly similar patterns of government intervention. Ideology gives way to pragmatism in response to crises, then re-emerges when it can be afforded. Our ideological preferences are luxuries that we have paid for repeatedly, and at great cost.
Keywords: Mortgages, Nationalization, Housing, Fannie, Freddie, Bank, Intervention, Regulation, Panic, Collapse
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation