05/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

U.S. May Convert Bailouts To Common Stock: Back Door To Nationalization?

WASHINGTON -- President Obama's top economic advisers have determined that they can shore up the nation's banking system without having to ask Congress for more money any time soon, according to administration officials.

In a significant shift, White House and Treasury Department officials now say they can stretch what is left of the $700 billion financial bailout fund further than they had expected a few months ago, simply by converting the government's existing loans to the nation's 19 biggest banks into common stock.

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