Nationalization comes to Wall Street


By Michelle Celarier

For decades, an unshakable belief in unfettered free markets has held sway on Wall Street. The transfer of risk and risk management courtesy of financial engineering helped foster an almost mystical belief that government regulation was a hindrance in the running of our financial system. Why bother with loan loss reserves when you could just buy a credit default swap?

Now Washington seems to be the only thing that stands between us and the abyss.

"We've never seen anything like this in our lifetimes" is the common refrain. Hedge funds were among those clamoring on September 15