Wall Street and Fed fly blind as coronavirus upends annual stress tests

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U.S. financial regulators, banks and their investors will get their first glimpse into the health of the nation's banking system as it confronts soaring corporate and consumer defaults in the economic crisis sparked by the novel coronavirus.

WASHINGTON - U.S. financial regulators, banks and their investors will get their first glimpse into the health of the nation’s banking system as it confronts soaring corporate and consumer defaults in the economic crisis sparked by the novel coronavirus.

And no-one, including the U.S. Federal Reserve which sets the annual bank “stress test” exams, has a clue what to expect. That could mean banks may be on the hook for billions more in capital than they had anticipated, which could ultimately force them to slash dividends, slim down their balance sheets or reduce lending.

This year, however, the real life economic blow dealt by the pandemic has by several measures exceeded the doomsday scenario the Fed unveiled in February, leading some banks to grumble it may as well scrap the tests this year.

Source: Financial Digest (financialdigest.net)

 

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