RBS to stay private?
Whisper it softly, but there's just a chance that Royal Bank of Scotland won't be nationalised after all.
Its shares have been lifted this morning on the wave of global stock-market euphoria to around 70p, a margin above the 65.5p price being paid by the government.
At that level, it would be rational for RBS's existing shareholders to exercise their right to buy the new shares and "deprive" taxpayers of this investment.
After all, if apples - or RBS shares - can be bought from the orchard at 65.5p when the market price is 70p, you'd be a fool not to buy in the orchard, even if you plan to dump them almost immediately in the market rather than hold them.
Which means that if RBS's share price were to stay at this level or rise, the state's stake in RBS might turn out to be far less than the 60% that taxpayers would own if we bought all the new stock.
The big imponderable is how much spare cash is available to our battered pension funds and whether some cash-rich overseas investors might be tempted to buy - because the £15bn that RBS needs is a lot of wonga.
But the important point is that, for all its hideous booboos, RBS is a fearsome moneymaking machine. And its new chief executive, Stephen Hester, has a formidable record of sorting out complex financial problems (which he demonstrated from his time at Abbey).
So private-sector investors might just conclude that this is too attractive an opportunity to leave for taxpayers.
Whatever happens, RBS will still be lumbered with paying off £5bn of preference shares which we as taxpayers are buying willy nilly.
Hester didn't want these but he's lumbered with paying the 12% coupon and ceasing dividend payments on all ordinary shares till the £5bn has been repaid.
That said, it's all looking a lot less bleak than Hester might have feared yesterday.
Hester may find himself running a bank that can claim with conviction that it's still largely in the private sector.
And that's all the more humiliating for HBOS, whose shares have also risen this morning but remain firmly below the subscription price being paid by HM Treasury.
What is it about HBOS, owner of the Halifax, that makes it less attractive to investors than RBS?
It's our viciously deflating residential housing market, to which the fortunes of this market-leading mortgage lender are inextricably linked.
Probably almost nothing can prevent us as taxpayers becoming the full or partial owners of the three mortgage lenders most closely associated with the bubble years in UK residential housing.
Soon we'll have the full set of Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley and HBOS - which will be seen by many as confirmation that the near-catastrophic failure of macro-economic management by Bank of England and Treasury over the past few years was to allow house prices to rise and rise and rise and rise and rise.
UPDATE, 04:00 PM: The wobble in Lloyds TSB's share price, down again today in a rising market, will be giving the jitters to the bank's board.
Its shareholders don't seem to like the Treasury's insistence that no dividends can be paid till all the prefs sold to the state are paid off.
The merged Lloyds/HBOS would have to pay off some £4bn of the prefs before it's dividends as usual for the group's ordinary shareholders. And that could perhaps take a couple of years.
But if Lloyds weren't to buy HBOS, it would have only £1bn of prefs to pay off.
So some shareholders may well be wondering whether Lloyds should press ahead with the takeover.
If the prime minister wants the takeover to go ahead - and he seems very keen on it - he may well have to instruct the Treasury to waive the requirement to cease all dividend payments to holders of the ordinary shares.