YOUR MONEY IS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS, PART II
The U.S. Treasury Department is planning to keep the results of any completed bank stress test under wraps until after the first-quarter earnings season to avoid complicating stock market reaction.Whataya know. Another version of the favorite catch phrase of Obama, Geithner, and Bernanke: "Your money is none of your fucking business. Just give it to us and let us give it the banks. We and they know what's the best use of your hard-earned money. Suckers." Wait, there's more!
The Treasury is still talking about how results of the regulatory stress tests on the 19 largest U.S. banks will be released, and may disclose them as summary results that are not institution-specific, the source said.
Banks could reveal their own results, but Treasury is hoping they will hold off until after the earnings season ends for most U.S. banks on April 24, said the source who sought anonymity because the Treasury has not made a final decision on what to disclose.
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Officials realize it may be hard to keep the results under wraps, and are looking for ways the banks could disclose some details without unduly disturbing the markets. They are also looking at providing some summary information about how the banks fared.
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The stress tests at the biggest banks are part of a wide-ranging effort to restore stability to a sector hit by huge mortgage-related losses.
The tests are designed to determine the depth of banks' capital shortfalls if conditions deteriorate further. After the tests are completed, the banks will have six months to either raise private capital or accept government funds.
But officials are worried about how the market will react to the stress test results if there is not a clear recovery path for a bank that is deemed to have a large capital need.
The last thing Treasury wants to do is set off a panic, the source said.
Make no mistake what all that Newspeak means. "Stability." Fear of "setting off a panic." Don't want to "disturb the markets." It means -- in no uncertain terms -- that our administration cares more about the huge institutions that dominate Wall St. than it does about its citizens. The Insiders in Washington who've already given the banks offensive amounts of money and will give them additional money in the future are hiding the true condition of the banks from the people who will continue to shell out this money.
"We can't tell you where your money will go . . . or why. Or even how it'll work," they're saying. "It's none of your business really. And we don't want to cause them to lose anymore or you'll just have to give us more to bail them out again."
And why this doesn't cause more outrage is completely beyond me.
For the last eight weeks, nearly 200 federal examiners have labored inside some of the nation’s biggest banks to determine how those institutions would hold up if the recession deepened.
What they are discovering may come as a relief to both the financial industry and the public: the banking industry, broadly speaking, seems to be in better shape than many people think, officials involved in the examinations say.
That is the good news. The bad news is that many of the largest American lenders, despite all those bailouts, probably need to be bailed out again, either by private investors or, more likely, the federal government. After receiving many millions, and in some cases, many billions of taxpayer dollars, banks still need more capital, these officials say.
Let's translate the Reuters and NYT pieces into English and sum up what our own government is telling us, shall we?
Hey folks, how you doing? We've been conducting stress tests. Workin' real hard, baby! Hours and hours of work. Or, sometimes we just used the numbers the banks gave us. Anyway, the numbers are actually pretty good. Damn good, we tell ya. But we can't show you the numbers just yet. We mean, they're good, but . . . you know, someone could misinterpret them as bad . . . even though, trust us, they're real good. But that misinterpretation could cause a panic. Or something like that. Something that could threaten stability.
Or cause the banks to lose more. Even though they're actually in very good shape. Really, they are.
But just in case, we're probably gonna need a couple trillion more to bail them out again. Thanks.
What is the sum of Outrage + Absurd? For me it's more outrage. But I fear for many it's something else. What is it?