The first one is a bailout tracker that tracks the amounts of money handed by the government in their desperate need to keep the status quo, save their friends and sponsors in private corporations and avoid the collapse of the current failures and the raise of the competent people. According to their work, already $10.5 trillion has been committed by the US Gov and the Fed and 2.6 already wasted... errr sorry I meant invested. Definitely worth having a look at the page.
stress test" (that many called "cake walk") have been delayed because banks were negotiating (and finally obtaining) multi-billion reductions in their capital requirements. While this is all but surprising, the ground work done by the WSJ on their interactive work is really interesting and valuable and shows the extend of which US banks are undercapitalised and the financial system in the US still exposed to massive capital injections by the Government (and maybe by specially selected private investors who will obviously have their capital guaranteed and by the US Gov, allowing them to take no risk but get the full upside instead of the US citizens).
The Federal Reserve significantly scaled back the size of the capital hole facing some of the nation's biggest banks shortly before concluding its stress tests, following two weeks of intense bargaining.John Hussman writes in his weekly letter:
In addition, according to bank and government officials, the Fed used a different measurement of bank-capital levels than analysts and investors had been expecting, resulting in much smaller capital deficits.
The “stress test” procedure also conveniently excludes any potential mark-to-market losses during 2009 and 2010, as banks “were instructed to estimate forward-looking, undiscounted credit losses, that is, losses due to failure to pay obligations (‘cash flow losses') rather than discounts related to mark-to-market values.”
Now, just think of this for a minute. Even if you assume that the “risk-weighted assets” of the banks are about two-thirds of their total assets (as the stress-test does), we're still looking at $7.8 trillion in total assets at risk in these banks, and despite being on the edge of insolvency only weeks ago, we are asked to believe that they will need less than 1% of this amount – $74.6 billion – of additional capital even in a worst case scenario. How do the stress tests arrive at this conclusion?