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Let's Nationalize Facebook

Let's make the site a force for good: Philip Howard

(Newser) - Facebook is capable of being a tool for the greater good, but right now, it's falling way short of that potential, writes Philip Howard at Slate . His solution: Let's nationalize it, even though the idea "might seem crazy." We could start with a public majority stake... More »

Spain Takes Over 'Poster Child' Bank

Part-nationalization to cause huge losses for Bankia investors

(Newser) - Merging seven struggling banks in Spain appears to have created a big, struggling bank instead of the healthy institution authorities were hoping for. The Spanish government is now grabbing a controlling 45% stake in Bankia, the nation's fourth-largest lender and the one with the most exposure to the country'... More »

Bolivia Seizes Spanish-Owned Power Firm

Morales nationalizes power grid

(Newser) - Bolivian President Evo Morales marked May Day by ordering the country's armed forces to seize the assets of the country's main electricity company. Spanish-owned Red Electrica owned and operated around 85% of Bolivia's power grid, and Morales announced that he was nationalizing the company because it had... More »

Argentina Seizing Key Energy Firm

Kirchner to nationalize 'predatory' YPF

(Newser) - The government of Argentina, claiming that a rise in oil imports is making the country "unviable," is taking control of the country's main oil producer. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has announced plans to nationalize YPF, and is sending a bill to the country's senate allowing... More »

Belgium Bails Out Failing Dexia

Belgian division to be nationalized; Belgium, France offer guarantees

(Newser) - Leading Franco-Belgian bank Dexia has agreed to a government rescue plan—making it "the biggest euro zone bank failure in quite some time," one analyst tells the New York Times . The plan will nationalize Dexia's Belgian banking division in a $5.4 billion government buyout; meanwhile, Belgium,... More »

Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers Are Actually Anti-Populist

The real Populists were anti-Wall Street and for big government

(Newser) - Calling what Sarah Palin and the Tea Partiers practice “populism” is backwards, writes Peter Beinart. In fact, they’re “anti-Populists.” The original Populists, in the late 19th century, “cursed Washington because it wasn’t powerful enough” to protect the people from the greed of “the... More »

Dubai: We Won't Bail Out Dubai World

Says it's not responsible for state-owned company's debt

(Newser) - Dubai’s government threw investors a curve ball today, saying that even though struggling Dubai World is state owned, the government won’t guarantee its debts or bail it out. Lenders “have deemed Dubai World as part of the government, and this is not true,” Dubai’s finance... More »

'Bourgeois' Golf Courses Tee Off Chávez

Venezuela shutting down the links—that happen to be near oil

(Newser) - Hugo Chávez has gone after oil conglomerates and media companies, and now he's hitting the capitalist pigs where it hurts: at the golf course. The Venezuelan president is trying to shut down the country's best-known courses, which he believes are part of an anti-Marxist conspiracy, the Independent reports. "... More »

Biden: 'SOB' Saddam 'Rolling Over in His Grave'

(Newser) - Joe Biden presided over a huge naturalization ceremony in Baghdad today, CNN reports, as 237 US service members became American citizens. “We did it in Saddam’s palace,” Biden said, “and I can think of nothing better. That SOB is rolling over in his grave right now.... More »

Obama: We Are 'Reluctant Shareholders'

(Newser) - President Obama heralded “the beginning of a new GM” today, explaining the administration’s plans for the bankrupt automaker. He also sought to reassure the public that he had “no interest” in running GM, despite the 60% stake the government will take in the company. “We are... More »

Bracing for 'Obama Motors'

(Newser) - GM’s bankruptcy and semi-nationalization has everyone talking. Here’s what the papers are saying:
  • “Welcome to Obama Motors, and what is likely to be a long, expensive, and unhappy exercise in political car making,” writes the Wall Street Journal. The government seems incapable of hands-off management, and
... More »

Chavez Takes Control of Iron, Steel Firms

Metal companies nationalized 'to build platform for socialism'

(Newser) - Hugo Chavez has ordered the nationalization of several large iron and steel companies in Venezuela, AFP reports. The president said the takeovers marked the start of a "process of nationalization to create an industrial complex." The move, which follows the nationalization of 39 oil service providers, would help... More »

Chavez Tightens Grip on Oil Industry

Venezuela to take control of oil service companies

(Newser) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is stepping up state control of his nation's oil industry, the BBC reports. The president has announced plans to seize the assets of some foreign oil contractors who threatened to stop work in protest over unpaid bills, and the country's national assembly has approved measures to... More »

US May Avoid More Bailouts by Trading Loans for Equity

Conversion could stretch bailout fund by $100 billion

(Newser) - President Obama’s economic team has figured a way to keep the banks afloat without asking Congress for more money, by converting the government's existing bailout loans to common stock, the New York Times reports. The conversion plan could stretch Treasury’s fund by more than $100 billion, but it... More »

Feds May Trade Debt for Stake in 'New' GM

Insiders say government planning to trade some of $13.4B loan for equity

(Newser) - The Obama administration is considering trading some of GM’s $13.4 billion government debt for equity in the streamlined, post-restructuring version of the automaker, Bloomberg reports. Insiders say the move, which would be accompanied by an offer to bondholders of equity in the new entity, is part of a... More »

Obama Fakes Center, Goes Liberal

(Newser) - If President Obama were a quarterback, he’d be a master of the fake, Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard. Using “misdirection,” he markets “his product—the liberal agenda, plus a few add-ons—in a manner that disguises what he's really up to.” While trumpeting... More »

Don't Listen to Krugman— This Plan Might Work

Pearlstein lays into fellow columnist

(Newser) - Even before the full details were released, critics were bashing the Treasury's public-private asset purchase plan; Paul Krugman predicted it would fail and lead the country into depression (not to speak of the writer into despair). Steven Pearlstein begs to differ, and the markets seem to agree. For the Washington ... More »

Obama's Not One of Us, Says Socialist

Lefty says prez sticks to center; a socialist only to 'odd conservatives'

(Newser) - Thanks to conservative politicians and pundits, socialists are in the limelight as never before, writes Billy Wharton in the Washington Post—and Wharton, as editor of Socialist magazine, ought to know. Mike Huckabee and John McCain became "our most effective promoters," he says, as they portrayed Obama... More »

Banks Have Gotten a Bum Rap: BofA Chief Ken Lewis

The steps already taken are working, so let the market sort it out

(Newser) - Banks have been unfairly tarred by misconceptions about the current financial crisis, Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis argues in the Wall Street Journal. It's not true that banks aren't lending, he writes. They are just doing so more responsibly, as they should. And it's not true that bad banks... More »

Chávez Seizes US Cargill Plant

Venezuela naionalizes rice mill amid food shortages

(Newser) - Hugo Chávez yesterday took control of the Venezuelan plant of the American food company Cargill, restarting a drive toward nationalization as the country's oil revenues plummet. Reuters reports that the government seized a rice plant run by Cargill, claiming that mills are deliberately producing small amounts of rice in... More »

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