米銀大手のシティグループとバンク・オブ・アメリカが国有化(nationalization)されるのは避けられない見通しだ。nationalizationは、the dreaded n-word of Wall Street(「ウォールストリートにとってNで始まる恐ろしい言葉」USAToday 2月20日)である。それがsocialism(社会主義)を連想させるからだ。だが、ポール・クルーグマン教授によれば、米政府が計画している銀行救済策は、“lemon socialism”(レモン社会主義)であるという。(鳥居英晴)

ニューズウィーク誌(2月7日)のカバーストーリーは“We Are All Socialists Now”(われわれは今やみな社会主義者だ)。これはミルトン・フリードマンとニクソン大統領が"We are all Keynesians now"(われわれは今やみなケインズ主義者だ)と言ったのをもじったもの。

The U.S. government has already―under a conservative Republican administration―effectively nationalized the banking and mortgage industries. That seems a stronger sign of socialism than $50 million for art. Whether we want to admit it or not―and many, especially Congressman Pence and Hannity, do not―the America of 2009 is moving toward a modern European state.



The dreaded N-word is creeping into Washington discourse. Once considered a folly of socialist Europeans, the idea of nationalising some of the US's biggest failing banks is gaining rapid acceptance among opinion-formers, many of whom are Republican.



Now our people are joking that we look at the U.S. and see “socialism with American characteristics.”


これは中国が自国の社会主義市場経済を“socialism with Chinese characteristics”と言っているのをもじったものだ。

ニューヨーク・タイムズの分析記事(1月26日)でDavid Sangerは、 次のように述べている。

In an interview Sunday on “This Week” on ABC, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, alluded to internal debate when she was asked whether nationalization, or partial nationalization, of the largest banks was a good idea.

(ABCの“This Week”のインタビューでペロシ下院議長は、大手銀行の国有化や一部国有化が良い考えであるかどうか問われて、内部の議論をほのめかした)

“Well, whatever you want to call it,” said Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California. “If we are strengthening them, then the American people should get some of the upside of that strengthening. Some people call that nationalization.


“I’m not talking about total ownership,” she quickly cautioned ― stopping herself by posing a question: “Would we have ever thought we would see the day when we’d be using that terminology? ‘Nationalization of the banks?’ ”


So far, President Obama’s top aides have steered clear of the word entirely, and they are still actively discussing other alternatives, including creating a “bad bank” that would nationalize the worst nonperforming loans by taking them off the hands of financial institutions without actually taking ownership of the banks. Others talk of de facto nationalization, in which the government owns a sizeable chunk of the banks but not a majority, with all that connotes.


Nationalization could pull the banks out of that dive, at least temporarily, as the government injected capital, hired new managers and ordered a restart to lending. But some Republicans who bit their tongues when President George W. Bush ordered huge interventions in the market would charge that Mr. Obama was steering America toward socialism.


Nationalization, said Charles Geisst, a financial historian at Manhattan College “is just not a term in the American vocabulary.”

(マッハッタン大学の財政史家のCharles Geisst,は、nationalizationという言葉は、米国の語彙の中にはない言葉だという)

“We think of it,” he continued, “as something foreigners do to us, not something we do.”



Nationalization occurs when the government takes over a private firm. Sometimes that means the government buys big stakes in banks to help them survive; other times it involves federal seizure of an insolvent institution. The government doesn't need to have 100% ownership.


グリーンスパン前米連邦準備理事会(FRB)議長は、フィナンシャル・タイムズのインタビューで”It may be necessary to temporarily nationalize some banks in order to facilitate a swift and orderly restructuring.” 「リストラを迅速に進めるには、いくつかの銀行を一時的に国有化することが必要になるかもしれない」と語った。


"Call it a public-private partnership. It's not nationalization, because the banks would not be wholly owned or probably not even majority owned by the government." "The government will be a shareholder, along with private shareholders."


国有化にからんでニューヨーク・タイムズにlemon socialismという言葉が出てくるのは、1月22日のCatherine Rampellの記事が最初のようだ。

“Nationalization can apply to industrial losers,” said Alan S. Blinder, an economics professor at Princeton. “In that, it’s sometimes called ‘lemon socialism’ ― taking industrial ‘lemons’ under the public wing.”

(プリンストン大学の経済学教授Alan S. Blinderは「国有化は産業の負け組に適用される。それは時には“レモン社会主義”と呼ばれることもある。産業“レモン”を公的保護もとにおくことである」と言う)

The debate over whether the United States government should nationalize its banks ― and other industries deemed “too big to fail” ― falls into this category.


救済が必要な銀行は国有化すべきであると主張するクルーグマンも、政府の銀行救済策をlemon socialismと呼ぶ。

lemon socialismについてグルーグマンは、socialized losses, privatized profits(損失の社会化、利益の私物化)と端的に表現している(ニューヨーク・タイムズ1月30日)。

I’m talking, instead, about the administration’s plans for a banking system rescue ― plans that are shaping up as a classic exercise in “lemon socialism”: taxpayers bear the cost if things go wrong, but stockholders and executives get the benefits if things go right. (2月2日ニューヨーク・タイムズ)


2月23日のコラムでもlemon socialismという言葉を使っている。

The Obama administration, says Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, believes “that a privately held banking system is the correct way to go.” So do we all. But what we have now isn’t private enterprise, it’s lemon socialism: banks get the upside but taxpayers bear the risks. And it’s perpetuating zombie banks, blocking economic recovery.


What we want is a system in which banks own the downs as well as the ups. And the road to that system runs through nationalization.


lemonには、欠陥品、欠陥車という意味がある。lemon socialismについては、Wikipedia が次のように説明している。

Lemon socialism is a term for the practice in otherwise free market capitalist economies in which the government steps in to bailout or otherwise subsidize weak or failing firms.


A government attempting to transition from capitalism to socialism by this method takes control of the worst industries ― the "lemons" ― first, which undermines such an approach. Socialists socialize the losses while capitalists keep the profits.


Mark J. Green believes that he coined the phrase in a 1974 article discussing the utility company Con Ed.However, others claim that the phrase was already in use in the 1950s.The sentiment was expressed in the adage “Socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor”, which was in use by the 1960s.

(Mark J. Greenは1974年の記事で最初にその言葉を使ったとしているが、その言葉は1950年代にすでに使われていたと主張する人もいる。その言葉は、1960年代に使われた「金持ちのための社会主義、貧者のための資本主義」ということわざに表現された)

クリントン政権の労働長官で“Supercapitalism”の著者、ロバート・ライシュは、RGE Monitor(1月25日)のHow America Embraced Lemon Socialism(米国はいかにレモン社会主義を受け入れたかと題する記事で次のように述べている。

Put it all together and at this rate, the government -- that is, taxpayers -- will own much of the housing, auto, and financial sectors of the economy, those sectors that are failing fastest.


Consider too that the government already finances much of the aerospace industry, which is still doing reasonably well but depends on a foreign policy that itself has been a dismal failure. And a large portion of the pharmaceutical industry and health care sector (through the Medicare and Medicaid, the Medicare drug benefit, and support of basic research). These are in bad shape as well, and it seems likely the Obama administration will try to reorganize much of them.

(政府はすでに、航空宇宙産業の多くに資金を出していることも考えるべきだ。その産業はまだ、まあまあうまくやっているが、みじめな失敗をしている外交政策に依存している。それに(Medicare とMedicaid、Medicareの給付金と基礎研究の支援を通じで)薬品産業と医療部門のかなりの部分がある。これらは経営状態が悪く、オバマ政権は、それらの多くを再編成しようとするであろう)

What's left? Most of high-tech, entertainment, hospitality, retail, and commodities. So far, at least, we taxpayers are not propping them up. And when the economy turns up -- perhaps as soon as next year, most likely later -- these sectors have a good chance of rebounding.


But the others -- the ones the government is coming to own or manage -- are less likely to rebound as quickly, if ever. If anyone has a good argument for why the shareholders of these losers should not be cleaned out first, and their creditors and executives and directors second -- before taxpayers get stuck with the astonishingly-large bill -- I would like to hear it.


It's called Lemon Socialism. Taxpayers support the lemons. Capitalism is reserved for the winners.








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