Anatole Kaletsky's take on the Northern Rock nationalization in yesterday's Times was spot-on:

Nationalisation... made sense only as a necessary legal stepping-stone to the orderly liquidation that Northern Rock required as soon as it ran out of money in September... To use nationalisation to keep the bank in business and its staff in state-subsidised employment would be a travesty of all the economic principles that “new” Labour has claimed to believe in.

His final paragraph is particularly telling:

All in all, what Mr Darling announced yesterday was a financial and political disaster of almost unimaginable proportions. The Northern Rock saga did not end yesterday; the fiasco has only just started, with the Government now officially in charge.

The whole article is essential reading.