"Stress tests" to be kept secret. Selling might escalate if results were public.

Discussion in 'Economics' started by wilburbear, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. If I didn't click on that link and see the actual, real title myself, I'd have though it was a spoof from The Onion or something:

    U.S. Treasury asking banks keep quiet on stress tests
    Thu Apr 9, 2009 10:19pm EDT


    By Karey Wutkowski

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
    The U.S. Treasury Department is asking banks not to mention the regulatory "stress tests" as part of their first-quarter earnings results, according to a source familiar with government discussions...
  2. So much for "transparency".
    What a joke!
  3. Goldman Sachs plans to report first-quarter earnings April 14,

    followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. on April 16.

    Citigroup reports April 17, and

    Morgan Stanley announces April 21. All four banks are based in New York.

    Treasury Assisted Recycling Program
  4. Word of the day: Notlüge
    Posted by Tracy Alloway on Apr 07 09:09.

    Wiktionary - Notluge


    You can add this to other pieces of European languages that have gained utility in the fiscal crisis, like Anstalslast and Herannakoord.

    The term ‘Notlüge’ equates to a ‘white lie’ in English, but its literal translation is ‘emergency lie’ — and there seem to be a lot of those nowadays.

    Witness, for instance, this quote from Eugene Ludwig, CEO of Promontory Financial Group, an advisory service for (duh) financials, in the Wall Street Journal.
    “I think serious efforts will be made to respect the confidential nature of the [US bank stress] 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.”

    We’re sure it would. CLSA analyst Mike Mayo effectively did his own stress test yesterday afternoon, forecasting loan losses to exceed the level of the Great Depression, and the market promptly ended its rally. Independent analyst Meredith Whitney has also found the banks wanting, unable to deal with rising unemployment.

    Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that US government officials are meeting early this week to discuss how to ‘analyse the results’ of the stress tests being conducted on the country’s 19 biggest banks. We think this basically equates to a debate about how (or whether) to publicise the results of the tests. Whether to go for the potentially market-damaging truth or tell a Notlüge.

    Of course, you could go a bit further, as others like former bank regulator William Black have, and say the stress tests themselves are one big Notlüge. They’re too weak to tell us anything of value, they’ve been designed “to fool us” — Black’s words.

    Chalk those up with the changes to accounting standards of last week and obfuscation, or its German equivalent, is a running theme. Back to the WSJ:

    At this week’s meetings on the stress tests, regulators also are expected to discuss how new changes to accounting rules might affect each bank’s performance in the tests. The Federal Accounting Standards Board [sic] voted last week to make it easier for banks in some cases to limit losses on assets they don’t intend to sell. Some government officials think this could significantly improve some banks’ condition on paper.
  5. Great Post.

  6. Just the way they've gone about this, and now with the *hint* *hint* *wink* *wink* of this, does anyone really doubt that the banks are even in far worse shape than even the most bearish among us suspected?

    It just keeps getting worse and worse.

    You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

    Not even sheeple people.
  7. #10     Apr 10, 2009