Search Results for: stress test

Three Federal Studies Show Fed’s Stress Tests of Big Banks Are Just a Placebo

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: November 16, 2016 The only thing standing between the American people and another apocalyptic financial collapse among by the biggest banks on Wall Street is the Federal Reserve’s stress tests and capital requirements. After Wall Street laid waste to the U.S. housing market and economy from 2008 through 2010, while propping itself back up with a feeding tube from the taxpayers’ pocketbook, the Obama administration passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation in 2010.  It wasn’t so much legislation as it was an illusory 2300 pages of rules that might someday get implemented in a meaningful way if President Obama appointed tough cops to his financial regulatory bodies – which he decidedly did not do. One of the promises in Dodd-Frank was that the Federal Reserve would annually assess whether the biggest and most dangerous banks have adequate capital to withstand a severe recession and … Continue reading

Big Banks May Get a Jolt When Fed Releases Final Results of Stress Tests Today

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 29, 2016  Today, at 4:30 p.m., the Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the second leg of its annual stress tests of 33 banks holding $50 billion or more in total consolidated assets. The first leg of the tests was released last Thursday with all 33 banks getting a passing grade in terms of meeting the minimum capital cushion required. Today’s final round, called the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), will determine whether the banks are allowed to continue or increase dividend payments, conduct share buybacks or issue secondary stock offerings. This is the sixth annual round of stress tests conducted by the Fed since the financial crash in 2008. In addition to the regular stress tests, eight large banks with significant trading and/or clearing operations are required to show losses if a major counterparty defaulted. Those banks are: Bank of America, … Continue reading

The Market Just Held a Stress Test: Morgan Stanley, Met Life and Citigroup Flunk

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 27, 2016 Wall Street On Parade has reported on multiple occasions that the Federal Reserve has no idea what it’s doing with its stress testing of the largest banks on Wall Street. Last Friday’s market action, following the Brexit vote in the U.K. to leave the European Union, proved just how feeble the Fed is when it comes to assessing systemic risk and capital vaporization at the deeply interconnected Wall Street mega banks. While the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 3.39 percent at the close on Friday, Morgan Stanley lost a stunning 10.15 percent of its market capital in a 6-1/2 hour trading session. At that speed, Morgan Stanley’s equity market capital could be wiped out in 10 trading sessions were this Brexit panic to continue. Citigroup, which became a basket case during the 2008 financial crisis, ending up as a penny stock … Continue reading

Buckle Up: Brexit Vote and Stress Test Results Arrive Tomorrow

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: June 22, 2016  Talk about bad timing. Tomorrow, while the Brexit vote takes place in the U.K. and is guaranteed to whipsaw markets through the Friday morning open when the results of the vote are expected, the Federal Reserve plans to add to market jitters on Thursday by announcing the results of its stress tests on the biggest banks — while withholding the final leg of the results until the following Wednesday. The stress tests are an annual Fed exercise which are meant to reassure the public and Congress that the mega banks are holding adequate capital for even an extreme economic downturn; in other words, that another epic taxpayer bailout of insolvent banks won’t sneak up on the Fed like it did in 2008. Unfortunately, according to the Federal agency established under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation to provide ongoing research on potential … Continue reading

Treasury Drops a Bombshell: Fed’s Stress Tests Get It Wrong

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 10, 2016 Four days after the Federal Reserve Board of Governors held an open meeting to propose a new rule to contain counterparty risk on Wall Street on a bank by bank basis, researchers at the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research (OFR) dropped a bombshell on the Fed. The researchers, Jill Cetina, Mark Paddrik, and Sriram Rajan, produced a study which shows, in their opinion, that the Fed’s stress test that measures counterparty risk on a bank by bank basis is all wet. The problem, say the researchers, is not what would happen if the largest counterparty to a specific bank failed but what would happen if that counterparty happened to be the counterparty to other systemically important Wall Street banks. The researchers note that the Fed’s stress test “looks exclusively at the direct loss concentration risk, and does not consider the … Continue reading

Bank Stress Test Results at 4:30 Today: Will the Fed Whistle Past the Graveyard?

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: March 11, 2015 Results of the first leg of this year’s Federal Reserve stress tests, which measured capital adequacy of 31 of the most systemically important banks under a hypothetical market crash and deep recession, were released on March 5. Every institution passed that phase of the tests. At 4:30 p.m. today, the Federal Reserve will release its findings on the second leg of the tests: risk management capability, corporate governance and internal controls. Wall Street calls this element the “culture” test. For those who have been reading our columns since 2008, when the culture of Wall Street brought about the greatest U.S. economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, you might be thinking that the Fed’s concern over the culture on Wall Street is a day late and $14 trillion short. (The $14 trillion figure is the amount of secret loans … Continue reading

Charges of Lies Swirl Around Tim Geithner’s New Book, “Stress Test”

By Pam Martens: May 12, 2014 Tim Geithner, former head of the New York Fed during the lead up to the Wall Street melt down, then Secretary of the Treasury in President Obama’s first term, is undergoing his own version of a big bank stress test: does he have the capital to survive the storm he has stirred up with his new, revisionist history book, Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises. Geithner’s book has barely made it to the bookstore shelves (it’s slated for official release today) and already he’s been called a liar by R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia Business School; Geithner is effectively calling author Ron Suskind a liar in the book; and the book’s attack on Neil Barofsky, former Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) has warranted a strong response from Barofsky where he says he doesn’t believe former Treasury Secretary … Continue reading

Citigroup Flunks Stress Test: Ghosts of Glass-Steagall Haunt the Fed

By Pam Martens: March 27, 2014 It only took three press releases over as many days but the Federal Reserve finally spit out the truth yesterday on its stress tests of the big banks: Citigroup, the largest bank bailout recipient of 2008, still doesn’t have its house in order more than five years later. How many more years of economic malaise will it take before the delusional Fed admits to the public that only the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act, separating banks holding insured deposits from gambling casinos on Wall Street, will put our financial system back on sound footing? The Fed’s comments on Citigroup yesterday included the following: “While Citigroup has made considerable progress in improving its general risk-management and control practices over the past several years, its 2014 capital plan reflected a number of deficiencies in its capital planning practices, including in some areas that had been previously … Continue reading

There Are Two Reasons that 75 Percent of U.S. Banks Didn’t Hedge Their Interest Rate Risk as the Fed Hiked Rates at the Fastest Pace in 40 Years

Unrealized Gains (Losses) on Investment Securities at U.S. Banks, 2008 - 2022 (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: October 10, 2023 ~ An academic study released in April found that during the fastest pace of Fed interest rate hikes in 40 years, the majority of U.S. banks failed to hedge their interest rate risk. The study on hedging is titled: Limited Hedging and Gambling for Resurrection by U.S. Banks During the 2022 Monetary Tightening? Its authors are Erica Jiang, Assistant Professor of Finance and Business Economics at USC Marshall School of Business; Gregor Matvos, Chair in Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University; Tomasz Piskorski, Professor of Real Estate in the Finance Division at Columbia Business School; and Amit Seru, Professor of Finance at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Among the key findings of the study are the following: “Over three quarters of all reporting banks report no material use of interest rate swaps.” “Only 6% of aggregate assets in the U.S. banking system … Continue reading

Large Banks Have Bled $921 Billion in Deposits Since April 2022 — the Fastest Pace in 40 Years — and a Much Larger Decline than Small Banks

Deposits at Large Commercial Banks versus Small Banks (Thumbnail)

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: July 6, 2023 ~ You may recall reading a burst of headlines during the banking crisis in March of this year about depositors fleeing small banks for the perceived comfort of the largest banks. Unfortunately, those headlines were never put in context or updated to reflect a broader picture. In fact, using deposit data that is updated weekly from the Federal Reserve’s own H.8 releases, it becomes crystal clear that the large banks are bleeding deposits at the fastest pace in 40 years. As the Federal Reserve data in the chart above indicates, deposits at the largest 25 commercial banks in the U.S. peaked at $11,679,758,700,000 on April 13, 2022. The most recent H.8 release shows that the deposits of the 25 largest banks as of June 21 stood at $10,758,977,000,000. That’s a percentage decline of 7.88 percent or $920,781,700. The Fed’s H.8 data defines … Continue reading