Sen. Graham defends view on nationalizing banksThe only small comfort I can take is knowing that within the week he'll be back to being a true-blue Republican!
Graham: Ignoring possibility is irresponsible.
By Jim Morrill
Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009
Despite criticism from fellow Republicans, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina Monday defended his statement that the U.S. should consider nationalizing some banks.
“Politicians are worried about words,” he said Monday. “I'm worried about outcomes.”
Graham said the government has already poured billions into banks with little to show for the economy. Bank of America, which has received $45 billion in bailout money, is currently worth $27 billion in market capitalization.
“The truth is we've put more money into the Bank of America than it's worth,” Graham said. “That's not nationalization. That's just stupid.”
“It would be smarter from a taxpayer point of view to take them over and make them (successful) than it would be just to sit back and write checks or let them fail,” Graham said. “We need to cut our losses.”
Graham would consider temporary federal control of some banks. He discussed his proposal Monday during a roundtable with S.C. business leaders and economists at the University of South Carolina. Some welcomed his proposals.
Graham said nationalization – or at least a form of it – is just an option.
“It's not responsible to take options off the table that might work,” he said. “I never suggested that the government take over every bank in America. I did say it might be better in some cases to take over a bank and restructure it.”
BUT - till then: thanks for speaking up, Senator Graham!