We own Royal Bank
It's official. We the taxpayer own one of the world's biggest banks, Royal Bank of Scotland, or 58% of it.
Only a tiny number of RBS's shareholders chose to buy any of the new shares in Royal Bank that were being sold in order to strengthen its balance sheet - which was inevitable, since the new shares were more expensive than the price of the existing shares on the stock market.
So the Treasury, on behalf of taxpayers, bought up the remaining 23bn shares at 65.5p each.
And, with last night's market price at 55p, we as taxpayers are already sitting on a loss of £2.4bn on this stake.
But the share price may rise.
What's more important is that this huge bank - which has just under £2,000bn of assets - is now majority controlled by the state.
Its shares will be in the hands of a special new company, UK Financial Investments Limited, owned by the Treasury, but described as being at arms length from it (see my earlier note, "a new taxpayer-owned mega-bank").
This is intended to demonstrate that ministers will not meddle in Royal Bank's day to day operations.
That said, it is utterly implausible that ministers and officials will be able to stand by idly as and when Royal Bank takes actions that affect millions of voters.
The commercial judgements of Royal Bank's management will inevitably be conditioned by the inescapable fact that we the taxpayers now own the bank.
That's about a great deal more than whether it pays bonuses to senior executives or how much it lends to small business and homeowners (which is where the government has already exerted explicit pressure).
It's about fundamental questions of culture and about how much risk the bank is prepared to take or is allowed to take by the new proprietor.
Those who run banks such as Royal Bank have for years seen themselves as creators and manufacturers of financial products, companies that can generate incremental wealth and can grow faster than the underlying rate of the economy.
They didn't want to see themselves as the infrastructure of the economy, that couldn't and shouldn't attempt to push up their profits at an accelerating rate. Somehow it was a bit too humiliating to be no more than the pipework for the real generators of wealth, companies with genuinely new services, real products and real technology.
So bankers created and exploited new "financial technology" that enriched themselves (for a while, at least) and was supposedly benefiting all of us by providing unlimited quantities of credit at astonishingly cheap rates.
Much of that technology - the collateralised debt obligations, the collateralised loan obligations, the credit default swaps, the structured investment vehicles - generated colossal losses, hobbled the global banking system, and is part of the reason why taxpayers all over the world are now propping up wounded banks on a mindboggling scale.
So whether they like it or not, most banks and bankers are destined to lead a quieter, duller life for many years.
Which, many taxpayers would say, isn't such a terrible thing.
If our banks simply concentrated on the very basics - taking deposits, providing simple loans to customers they actually know, moving our money to where we want it to go - would that be so disastrous?
Throughout the entire history of banking there's always been a tension between their core function as public-service utilities and the desire of the bankers themselves to earn super-normal returns by speculating with their depositors' cash.
Whether they like it or not, all our banks will for the next few years look a lot more like building societies and a lot less like Goldman Sachs.
UPDATE, 09:45AM: Sorry. I forgot the elephant in the room, Royal Bank of Scotland's £1900bn of borrowings, deposits and other liabilities.
I'm sure these will be kept off the formal public sector balance sheet. The public finances really wouldn't look pretty if another 140% of GDP was added to the national debt.
But now that taxpayers own 58% of Royal Bank, we are explicitly and formally standing behind its entire, gargantuan balance sheet, its assets and its liabilities.
That was always true in an implicit sense, because Royal Bank was too big to be allowed by the government to fail.
But we shouldn't pretend that the liability isn't real. The assessment of Royal Bank's credit-worthiness is now closely linked to an assessment of the credit-worthiness of the UK state.
That cuts both ways. Royal Bank is benefitting from having the financial support of the state (which is why it really does have to behave itself).
But the fact that Royal Bank has this conspicuous support also shines quite a bright light on the huge and growing liabilities of the state, which will have an impact on the perceived credit-worthiness of Britain - and not in a nice way.