I never thought I would find myself defending Gordon Brown in this space but I think anyone who criticises his part-nationalism of some of Britain´s leading banks is not aware of the full facts. Brown had little option but to take this radical action because otherwise Britain would have been effectively bankrupt. In the long term (if the state-owned British banks ever recover) it could pay a dividend. Over the last two weeks Brown has appeared to be a safe pair of hands but the question which needs to be asked is how British banks got into this mess in the first place. The Royal Bank of Scotland is Britain´s second biggest bank and just a year ago it was bidding in excess of 48 billion pounds for Dutch bank ABN-Amro as part of a consortium consisting of Fortis and Banco Santander of Spain. Twelve months on and it is being taken over by the British government! What an incredible turn of events. One thing for sure the crisis we have seen means the end of banking as we once knew it. Hopefully now there will be a return to a more sensible and responsible approach to banking. It marks the end of an era of cheap credit and things will never be the same again. At this moment in time Brown has done a good job but the bill is going to be high.
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