Deja vu all over again

We’re thisclose to a global financial meltdown, and how have the Powers That Be decided to handle it? Some bold, decisive action like breaking up the banks and forcing investors to take their losses? Don’t be silly. They’re going to extend and pretend, just like we did here in the United States — and look how well that worked out!

PARIS — PARIS — Europe’s debt crisis hit another milestone on Sunday when the French and Belgian governments agreed to nationalize Dexia, Belgium’s biggest bank, infusing it with billions in taxpayer money after it became the first casualty of the Greek sovereign debt crisis.

The move came as Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France acknowledged that Europe’s banks still needed billions of euros more to cushion against a possible Greek default. In meetings Sunday in Berlin, they announced that they would have a “comprehensive solution” by the time leaders of the G-20 group of nations meets in early November in Cannes, France.

“We are determined to do what is necessary to guarantee the recapitalization of our banks,” Mrs. Merkel said.

But they declined to provide any specifics on how it would work, or how much money they would commit, which could unnerve investors who hoped to see the governments take more decisive action.