In an attempt to shore up financial markets and the ailing U.S. banking sector - the American government announced today that they will be taking an "equity position" by directly purchasing shares in a number of U.S. banks and financial institutions. (They stopped short of calling it "Nationalization".)
Such a move by the U.S. government has not occurred since the Great Depression.
See coverage below:
Globe and Mail: US ups ante with plan to buy stake in ailing banks
Los Angeles Times: US to buy shares in struggling banks
The Press Association: US bid to stablise markets