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 Roubini and JPMorgan Agree: Euro Stress Tests Were a Joke

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PostSubject: Roubini and JPMorgan Agree: Euro Stress Tests Were a Joke   Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:00 pm

From The Business Insider

Heads up to fans of Dr. Doom. Nouriel Roubini was on Squawk Box this morning, talking Europe, the U.S. economy, and the rest of the news.

A few points:

* Of course the stress tests weren't stressful enough.

* El-Erian's "new normal" is right, and U.S. growth will be sluggish for years.

* Nominal unemployment will be around 9% in about 6-9 months. Meanwhile, count JPMorgan analyst Pavan Wadhwa among those who think the stress tests were a joke and that only bad can come now. "We believe that the stress test results will fail to restore financial confidence," he writes.

Here are the key bullet-points:

The European bank 'stress' tests were anything but; just 7 banks failed with a paltry €3.5 billion ($4.55 billion) total capital shortfall...

• ...due to a lack of rigour in macroeconomic stresses, leading to low portfolio loss rates...

• ...and the fact that sovereign haircuts were applied only to trading books and not to accrual books

• Our estimates show that the lack of rigour in CEBS stress scenarios resulted in a 1.7% upward bias to Tier I capital ratios...

• ...and the focus on Tier I (not core Tier I) resulted in a 1.2% lower capital hurdle...

• ...for a total bias of 2.9% in Tier I capital ratio estimates

• Eliminating this bias suggests that 54 banks would have failed a more stringent stress test, generating a capital shortfall of €60-75 billion (or ~ $78 billion to $97.5 billion)

========================================================

Curious. Were stress tests performed to satiate the appetite of the gluttonous media and politicians? In short, yes. Politicians can now point to these tests and say "we did our best" if something catastrophic occurs in the near-future. Meanwhile, the distressed test results give the media permission to move on to cover more important headlines; weather or not Sarkozy accepts gifts from french women formerly of luxurious shampoo companies.
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Roubini and JPMorgan Agree: Euro Stress Tests Were a Joke
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