Bill Clinton: Economy Will be OK, Even if Banks Nat'lized

Former President Bill Clinton said that though he believes the Obama administration does not want to nationalize the banks, the U.S. economy will be fine, even if the administration should have to resort to such a measure.

"It's clear that the Treasury Department and the White House don't want to nationalize the banks," Clinton told CNBC's Betsy Quick in an interview aired in portions this morning. "They apparently believe that if the banks are nationalized they will be worthless to the investor, and therefore, they're getting out now."

"I take the administration at its word: they are doing everything they can to avoid having to do a takeover of the very largest banks," he said. "The point I want to make to everybody is: whatever happens, we'll probably be alright, as long as we deal with it this year."

Clinton praised the Obama administration's plan as thoughtful and pragmatic, and also touted the work of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairwoman Sheila Bair.

Clinton emphasized that the method the administration adopts to assist the banks is not as important as the administration taking decisive action to help the economy this year.

"Nobody thinks the federal government will be the banker of America in the long run," the former president and husband of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton added.

Access videos of the Clinton interviews here.