DEFUSING THE THREAT: The Netherlands nationalized its fourth-largest bank on Friday, injecting $3 billion into SNS Reaal NV to head off any chance of a messy collapse that would threaten the country's economy and financial system.

DEFICIT EFFECT: The cost means Netherlands' budget deficit in 2013 will be higher than the 3 percent allowed under European Union rules unless the Cabinet comes up with more unpopular austerity measures.

THE BANK: SNS has insurance and banking operations, including about 10 percent of Dutch retail deposits. Its decline occurred over several years as sliding property values eroded its real estate loans portfolio.