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Joining the Ranks of Nationalization

I just can’t believe what I’m reading… we’re continuing down the road of nationalizing the banking industry (subscription):

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told international leaders on Sunday that isolationism and protectionism could worsen the spreading financial crisis. With a new trading week dawning, U.S. lawmakers urged quick action by the Bush administration on measures to make direct purchases of bank stock to help unlock lending.

Sen. Chuck Schumer said an administration proposal to inject federal money directly into certain banks, in effect partially nationalizing the banking system, “is gaining steam.”

“I am hopeful that tomorrow, the Treasury will announce that they’re doing it. And they have to do it quickly … markets are waiting,” Schumer, D-N.Y., said.

Who else nationalizes their industries?

Last month, [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez ordered a state takeover of several major oil operations that had been controlled by foreign-owned corporations.

Oh, and let’s not forget Russia

Since [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s election in 2000, the Kremlin has brought national television broadcasters under state control while state-owned or state-controlled companies have bought up some of the country’s most influential newspapers and magazines.

Putin, like Chavez, also nationalized the energy industry in 2006. We’re moving awfully quickly down this path, and I think it’s pretty scary.