A major question in the government response to the banking crisis is choosing between the “evils” of nationalization of banks that would however provide stability, versus the “benefits” of saving of the private banks that would innovate and compete in a market system.
As the dean of the Tuck School of Business I’m privileged to speak with a wide range of economists, bankers, Wall Street executives and our own students, and what I’m interested in is finding an answer somewhere in the middle ground:
* First decide what major businesses absolutely need in banking services and then set up a ‘facility’ to assure that that those prime banking services will be available. This facility would initially be owned by the government but with an explicit goal of going to full private ownership as soon as feasible.
* Make that facility a separate legal entity from private banks.
* Let the private banks operate these “franchised” facility under close scrutiny.