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What's Next for Banks?45:28
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A pigeon sits atop Bank of America branch sign in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. (AP)
A pigeon sits atop Bank of America branch sign in Los Angeles on Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. (AP)

U.S. banks are facing a worst-case scenario, teetering on the verge of massive failures.

Three have gone down so far this year. That’s one per week. And the cost to bail out the industry could reach trillions — that’s with a “T.” Some formerly taboo words — like “nationalization” — are being tossed around. It worked for Sweden. But the USA?

Gretchen Morgenson, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times business columnist, looks with us at the road ahead.

This hour, On Point: bailouts, bad banks, and cram-downs. What’s next for the banking industry?Guest:

From New York we're joined by Gretchen Morgenson, business columnist and assistant business and financial editor at The New York Times.  She's been writing extensively about banks, mortgages, and economic crisis, most recently in a piece headlined "The End of Banking as We Know it." She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her coverage of Wall Street.

This program aired on January 27, 2009.

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