At least 15 of the nation's 19 banks undergoing federal stress tests this week would fail a stricter test based on more objective economic assumptions and stricter evaluation procedures, according to an analysis released today at the National Press Club by Martin D. Weiss, Ph.D., president of Weiss Research, Inc. The stress tests results are akin to ratings. But no objective rating agency would stand behind them. The exams are too easy; the banks get to take them home with cheat sheets; and if they don't like their final grade, they can appeal for a better one. If, despite all this, some large institutions still come up short on capital, it will imply far deeper troubles than the Treasury or the Fed dare admit.
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