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Between a rock and a hard place?

The Chancellor Alistair Darling announced in February that Northern Rock – the beleaguered bank – was to be temporarily nationalised. The government had been unable to agree terms with prospective buyers and so decided that temporary nationalisation was the best way to proceed. The move has met with sharp criticism from shareholders and many commentators, but was supported by the Liberal Democrats who had argued from the outset that this was the best solution to the crisis.

Northern Rock shareholders will argue that nationalisation is theft Times Online (20/2/08)
Reaction to Northern Rock nationalisation Guardian (18/2/08)
‘Our shares are worthless’ say the Rock’s furious investors Times Online(18/2/08)
Northern Rock reclassified as public company Guardian (7/2/08)
Northern Rock staff warned of job cuts Guardian (7/2/08)
Q&A: Nationalised Northern Rock – what next? BBC News Online (18/2/08)
Northern Rock crisis (Special Report) BBC News Online

Video
Northern Rock nationalisation BBC News Online (February 2008)

Questions
1. Explain what is meant by nationalisation.
2. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of privatisation. Why was privatisation introduced as a strategy in the 1980s?
3. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of temporarily nationalising Northern Rock.
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