Harry Tuttle submits:What is a (banking) stress test?In theory, is an exercise where the bank revalues its assets under one or more adverse scenarios in order to find out whether or not it is adequately capitalized.Complete Story »
While the main event in today's European bank stress test was leaked moments ago, when Monte Paschi board member Turicchi said that the bank has finalized a bank consortium for a critical capital hike, suggesting that contrary to last minute jitters the bank has found the needed number of willing banks to provide €5 billion in fresh capital it needs resulting in the bank's 3rd bailout in the past 2 years - this one courtesy of the private sector - there may sti
Moments ago, the European Banking Authority published the 2016 bank stress test results, whose purpose - as every other year - is to inspire confidence in Europe's struggling banks; it differs from a market-based assessment of bank stress - that particular "test" can be seen by observing the stock prices of such giant banks as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, both of which recently hit all time lows.
Alicia Damley submits:At the end of this week, results of the second European bank stress test exercise begun in March 2010 will be released. Given the EU’s structure, these tests have been finalized by Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) and the national supervisory authorities, in close co-operation with the ECB.
For years, many - and certainly this website - had mocked both European and US stress tests as futile exercises in boosting investor and public confidence, which instead of being taken seriously repeatedly failed to highlight failing banks such as Dexia, Bankia and all the Greek banks, in the process rendering the exercise a total farce.
When it comes to stress tests, especially for European banks, the one thing history suggests is the tests will be essentially stress-free, by design. Why should this time be any different?
Nonetheless, European Central Bank President, Mario Draghi Says ECB Won’t Hesitate to Fail Banks in Stress Tests.
For those of you who do not speak Draghize I offer these translations.
Spanish bank Banco Santander was halted on Thursday, followed by an announcement it would raise capital. When the bank reopened its shares plummeted as much as 14%, with the Spanish stock market down about 4%. Banco Santander passed the last "stress test" so allegedly it had no need to raise capital.With that thought in mind, let's recap the ECB's love affair with stress tests that seldom find much need to raise capital.
On October 23, ECB president Mario Draghi announced new bank stress tests. At the time, I offered a "Draghize" Translation. Here is a small snip. Translating DraghizeFor those of you who do not speak Draghize I offer these translations.Draghize: "Banks do need to fail to prove the credibility of the exercise".
Yves here. I have to admit I never focused on what turns out is a blindingly obviously reason why the European bank stress tests are an exercise in optics. Even though this website derided the US stress tests as a cheerleading exercise, and earlier criticized the Administration for failing nationalize Citigroup as FDIC chairman Sheila Bair sought to do, the US authorities were in a position to Do Something about sick banks. Consider the European case (note I consider Yanis to be too charitable toward US bank regulators, but keep in mind that he's comparing them to his home-grown version).
Across the board, we are seeing European bank stocks (most notably Italian) trading halted. The 5-7% plunge in prices - just when everyone is proclaiming victory in Europe - reflects an apparent concern that the tougher-than-expected European bank stress-tests will expose the Italian banks for the bloated sovereign debt issuance soaks that they have become. As Draghi himself noted, in a desparate plea to maintain some credibility "banks do need to fail" to prove the credibility of the exercise, adding "if they do have to fail, they have to fail.
There are somewhat good news for the EU economy today insofar that only 7 of the 91 tested European banks failed their stress tests, coordinated by the European Commission office. The failures are mainly concentrated in Spain and the reason for this may be not so much the bad state of the Spanish economy but the peculiar way the whole exercise was devised.