So you know those stress tests all the big guys took? Yes, you do. Don't play dumb. The ones that were based on awful economic assumptions intended to be a "worst case" scenario analysis about what would happen if things got "this bad?" Yes, the one that had unemployment at 8.4% for a baseline "this sucks" scenario (we've already exceeded that- Go Team!). Well, grading time has begun:
Top federal bank regulators plan to meet early this week to discuss how to analyze the results of stress tests being conducted on the country's 19 largest banks, people familiar with the matter said.
Regulators announced the tests two months ago as part of an effort to determine how much assistance big banks might need to continue lending if the economic downturn worsens. The government is wrestling with how to bolster the lenders without appearing to prop up banks that are beyond repair.
So what do the results of the stress tests mean? Well, we are really, really, for sure not going to let a bank that takes the test fail...
The announcement of the tests in February drove down bank stocks, as investors fretted that the government might use the tests to shut down or nationalize lenders. The Obama administration has said it won't let any of the banks undergoing the tests to fail.
...and we seriously aren't going to let the results leak out. Seriously. We promise.
"I think serious efforts will be made to respect the confidential nature of the test and its results," he said, but added that "there is a real danger that the results of the stress test are uncovered and this roils the markets."
It is the return of Double Secret Probation! Wipe that smirk off your face, mister. This is serious business.
More, after the jump.
[The Wall Street Journal]