This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Cramer: Nationalizing Banks Is Mission Impossible

The following post appeared earlier Tuesday on RealMoney. Sign up for a free trial of RealMoney, and enjoy incisive commentary all day, every day.

What's at stake with nationalization? Why do I oppose it so much? Why do I feel that its proponents are glib and over their heads and have done no homework and do not have a stitch of rigor? Maybe because I think that nothing is impossible for those who don't have to do it themselves. I have said again and again that as much as you may hate the bankers who got us here, it is well beyond the ken of this government to fix it. I have said that the analogies to the Swedish "success" of nationalization are chimerical, because the Swedish banking issues were small and manageable. I have said that you simply can't compare the two.

Nobody's listening, They are listening to academics who have never traded a stock, a currency, a future or a complex derivative. They are listening to people who could never manage a profit and loss statement. Never . They will sink us to the Stone Age if given the chance. But maybe that's not even getting through to people.

So how about this? How about considering what the government will have to do to unwind a large bank that has problems, like Bank of America (BAC). Take a look at the real BofA based on December consolidated financial statements. Ask yourself, can the team run by Tim Geithner, a team that can't even staff itself, be able to run this bank with these stats? This is what you would have to run if you owned BofA based just on the off-balance-sheet items from bank at the end of the year. That's right, forget about all of the bad loans, both residential and commercial, forget about all of the difficult servicer issues involving Countrywide and just consider this horror show: :

  • 1.3 trillion in binding unfunded loan commitments.
  • $80 billion in letters of credit.
  • $1 trillion "matched" book of credit default swaps.
  • $1.4 trillion notional swap book.
  • $60 billion in liquidity commitments to conduits.
  • $26 billion in residential loan guarantees related to loans sold but still serviced.
  • I don't have the numbers handy on variable interest SPVs but they're not insignificant.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,960.57 -123.23 -0.72%
S&P 500 1,978.34 -9.64 -0.48%
NASDAQ 4,449.5640 -22.5440 -0.50%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs