How to stop bank nationalisation
As I said this morning, there's a chance the state won't end up owning a whacking 60 per cent of Royal Bank of Scotland and 40 per cent of the superbank formed by the merger of Lloyds TSB and HBOS.
But if the Treasury wants to minimise the probability that it will own the maximum number of shares in these two banks, it may have to make a fairly important change to its banks rescue scheme.
In the case of Royal Bank, for example, its market price has been hovering around the subscription price for the new shares.
If the market price were to settle higher in six weeks, when its make-your-mind-up time for investors, lots of those new shares might end up being bought by those investors, leaving taxpayers with a relatively modest stake.
But to woo private-sector shareholders, the Treasury may have to concede that the banks were right in their last minute negotiations that there is a flaw in the rescue scheme - and it's rarely easy for Government to put its hands up and say "we were wrong".
The Treasury may have to abandon its stipulation that no dividends can be paid to shareholders in RBS, HBOS and Lloyds until these banks have repaid preference shares which they are selling to the state.
The prohibition on dividend payments has spooked our big investing institutions.
It's wreaking havoc in particular on Lloyds TSB's share price, because its takeover of HBOS would give it a vast burden of preference shares to pay off.
Which may sound technical and dull, but a good deal is at stake.
Lloyds TSB's shareholders could refuse to approve Lloyds' takeover of HBOS, because of their annoyance that the deal would make them wait much longer for dividends to be resumed than would happen if Lloyds were to stay independent.
So if the Government doesn't show flexibility on dividend payments, it'll probably end up owning much more of the banks than is necessary and the takeover of HBOS by Lloyds could implode.