As the Guardian has noted:
Alistair Darling, criticised for nationalising the bank, insisted yesterday that the government had little option but to agree to swap £3bn of taxpayer loans for equity to bolster the lender's balance sheet. Many other banks - notably Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HBOS - have needed similar injections of funds from shareholders as the credit crunch has eaten into their businesses.
Darling said: "It [Northern Rock] needs more shareholder capital; it does not have shareholders so it has to come from us." Its crucial core tier one ratio, used to measure financial strength, is just 2.9%, compared with the 6% or so reported by rivals.
a) This is true
b) That's what happens when you nationalise things: you pick up the tab for the losses
c) Some of us were saying those losses were inevitable way before nationalisation occurred.
One other thing: the Granite bond holders continue to sing all the way to the bank. That's the real problem: they're not carrying the can.