Citibank 36% Nationalized
Feb 27, 2009
"I am not a crook." (Nixon)
"Read my lips. No new taxes." (Bush, Sr.)
"I did not have sex with that woman." (Clinton)
"We do not torture." (Bush, Jr.)
"We have no plans to nationalize Citibank." (Bernanke)
In each case, it depends on the meaning of words. Dictionary definitions do not count, of course. You have to use Orwell's Newspeak Political Dictionary.
Bernanke said the other day that "nationalization" means total nationalization, where the government would essentially take over, and all shareholders would be left with worthless paper. So if the government takes over just 36% of Citibank, that's not "nationalization." Ok, I get it.
Of course, shareholders figured out that their papers are now worth 36% less than yesterday's value, so Citibank's stock dropped nearly 40% today. It went from about $2.48/share to about $1.50/share.
I suppose I could say that anyone still holding Citibank shares has to be out of his mind. But I won't. I'll just think it quietly.