Monday, May 11, 2009

Geithner explains the bank stress test results

So, it was really a surprise that by and large banks passed the test?
Robert Reich was concerned about the tests even before the results came out:
[Banks] needing extra capital will get it from the Treasury. But where will the money come from, now that the TARP fund is almost exhausted and Congress is dead set against providing more bank bailout money? The Treasury will simply swap debt for equity – turning what the banks owe the government into shares of stock in the banks. Presto. Ailing banks will get more capital, and Tim Geithner won’t have to go back to Congress to ask for it.

But by this sleight-of-hand, the public takes on more risk. Much of the money we originally gave Wall Street took the form of senior debt. We were preferred creditors, meaning that in the event of bankruptcy (or some form of it) we’d get repaid first. But as shareholders, we’d get nothing. As we’ve seen time and again during this economic crisis, shareholders lose big.
But, on with the test results, you say? Sure. Here is the treasury sec. explaining the test results:

thanks to GM for the tip

No comments: