Stress Kills

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We knew to expect a bit of a circus during "Stress Test Release Week," (and we loved the theater of making bank heads come in for their results- it's parent teacher conference time again!) but it has gone from shabby (no immediate release of results?) to beyond theater of the absurd. (GDP projected to increase in 2010? Please, bitches). And, they are actually called Supervisory Capital Assessment Programs. (SCAP). That's just too easy.
Oh, did we mention? There is an appeals process. Like arguing with your English Literature 505: The Elizabethan Era over the impact of Christopher Marlowe's death. (I swear she had a crush on the dead man). Oh, and there is "Bespoking." That's when adjustments are made on the test for the specifics of each institution. We used to have a different word for it when they used to do that in the local school districts after the testing requirements descended: Cheating.
Is it just us, or has the media taken the bait hook, line and sinker. This might have been a clever bit of propaganda, permitting the media to go wild over the tests, withholding them from public view for weeks while the feeding frenzy builds. Playing CNBC for everything it is worth is actually kind of amusing. One almost wonders if all the fuss will obfuscate the basic fact that the tests are basically useless.
There is also a case that the government is legally required to take prompt action if it discovers a given institution is in trouble. Actively concealing the results of a financial health test really doesn't sound much to us like the kind of thing governments should be engaged in. Unless you are a bank CEO, you see, you are not getting a copy until May (that is, unless someone *ah-lloyd-em* would like to leak them to us, which would be much appreciated).
Bank Officials to Hear Results of Stress Tests [The Wall Street Journal]
The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program: Design and Implementation

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Citi Will Try The Stress Test Again With A $9bn Stock Buyback

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