Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stress Test Sanity - Truth in Media...

Finally a Sane Article on the Stress Test…

Stress Test Scores ‘C’ If Name Ends in ‘itigroup’: Mark Gilbert

Commentary by Mark Gilbert

April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Tomorrow, the U.S. authorities are scheduled to disclose the methodology for the stress tests that will gauge the creditworthiness of the 19 largest U.S. banks. Below are a few examples of the kinds of searching, penetrating questions the Treasury Department should ask. Some sections have point scores. Others will be judged more subjectively.

(1) Award your institution five points for every ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. manager on your board. Double that tally if former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan ever took part in a private conference call for your favorite clients. Lose all points if the head of your executive compensation committee has a worse golf handicap than your chief executive officer.

(2) This week, an anonymously sourced blog entry said the government’s stress test would show that 16 of the 19 banks in the study are technically insolvent, with none of the 16 able to survive a disruption of their cash flow or additional defaults on their loans. On hearing this, your first reaction was:
(a) Please, please, please let me be in the threesome. I’ve worked like a dog selling assets and raising capital.
(b) Please, please, please let me be in the 16. I’m tired and I’d like to spend more time with my money.
(c) Only 16? Surely some mistake . . .
(3) Your accounts are audited by:
(a) Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP.
(b) Ernst & Young LLP.
(c) Deloitte & Touche LLP.
(d) Moe, Larry and Curly in Rockland County, New York.
(4) A mob gathers at the doors of your institution. Your instinctive reaction is that:
(a) Barbarian rioters, led by Naomi Klein, are at the gates demanding the end of capitalism.
(b) Your customers have finally lost patience with counting their losses and are demanding your head on a plate.
(c) All those derivatives specialists you fired last month have finally found their collective spines and want to reclaim the portion of your previous bonuses that their spreadsheet- shuffling was responsible for generating.
(5) Gather your board members around the executive table, and make them bare their wrists. Lose 2 points for every wristwatch with a retail price of more than $5,000. Lose 50 points for any board member who owns the Breitling Emergency model that claims to summon the international rescue services at the push of a button. Lose 100 points if he has ever accidentally pressed the button and had to pay for the helicopter.

(6) Gain 10 points if you, the current CEO, have been asked to be or already are:
(a) a member of the U.S. Treasury.
(b) an employee of the Federal Reserve.
(c) Bo’s pooper-scooper.
(7) Your current company vehicle is:
(a) a Cessna Citation X jet.
(b) a Maybach limousine.
(c) a Toyota Prius
(d) a Segway scooter.
(e) a rusty bicycle.
(8) Which best describes your ability to sell bonds on the international capital markets without the benefit of a U.S. government guarantee?
(a) Bill Gross backs up the truck and says “fill ‘er up.”
(b) Bill Gross laughs so hard that he snorts coffee out of his nose and down the front of his shirt.
(9) Timothy Geithner says the “vast majority” of the nation’s banks have more capital than they need. Your response is:
(a) Which nation is he talking about? ‘Cos it certainly isn’t the U.S. of A.
(b) What is he smoking and where can I get some?
(c) You laugh so hard you snort coffee out of your nose.
(10) Your institution is positioned to remain solvent in a world economy resembling that of:
(a) the past decade.
(b) Japan.
(c) Cuba.
(d) Zimbabwe.
(11) Lose 10 points if your CEO plays bridge. Lose another 10 points if he’s up to tournament standard.

(12) Lose five points for each of the following:
(a) The words “never sleeps” feature in your slogan.
(b) There’s an umbrella in your logo.
(c) The name of your institution begins with “C” and ends with “itigroup.”
(Mark Gilbert is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)
Notice that in the mainstream one can only tell the truth when it is disguised in humor, and then it is only an "opinion" for which they take no responsibility! LOL, there's your real stress test right there.
;-)