Sunday, May 10, 2009

Repost about Bank Stress Tests

This post is not about food or travels or pennstate. Instead, it is a repost of something I wrote on
Exhibit A; Stress test results reported as generally positive (all major news sources). One link: CNN-Money
Exhibit B: Details of a new twist into the stress test results, as reported by the WSJ.

The WSJ reports a new twist about the recently concluded "stress tests" on US banks. It was reported that Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC and Citigroup rounded up the top four of the nine banks that needed altogether a combined 74.6 Billion dollars of additional capital. However if you look at the column worst case loss scenario in the NYT CNN-Money article, you see that Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells (all 3 need addl. capital) and JP Morgan (no addl capital needed) altogether could lose up to $420 billion. That is interesting!!

The Federal Reserve significantly scaled back the size of the capital hole facing some of the nation's biggest banks shortly before concluding its stress tests, following two weeks of intense bargaining. But the guv-meant, also made math errors! (see below in read)

In addition, according to bank and government officials, the Fed used a different measurement of bank-capital levels than analysts and investors had been expecting, resulting in much smaller capital deficits.

the Fed used a different measurement of bank-capital levels than analysts and investors had been expecting, resulting in much smaller capital deficits....

...Government officials worried San Francisco-based Wells might file a lawsuit contesting the Fed's findings.

By the way if you look into the Interactive, I would say that Amex looks strongest in terms of exposure. However futures earnings are not estimate here so how they do in the coming years would be an interesting prediction to make.

Other interesting excerpts:

SunTrust Banks Inc. also persuaded the Fed to significantly reduce the size of its estimated capital gap to $2.2 billion, after identifying mathematical errors in the Fed's earlier calculations, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Poor PNC .. but not too bad ,....
PNC Financial Services Group Inc., saw a capital hole materialize at the last minute. As recently as Wednesday, PNC executives were under the impression they wouldn't need to find any new capital, according to people familiar with the matter. Thursday morning, the Fed informed PNC that it had a $600 million shortfall.

The whole article is a great read.


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