Feds May Reveal Which Banks Are Weakest

Results of 'stress tests' may go public
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2009 4:00 AM CDT
Feds May Reveal Which Banks Are Weakest
Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis, right, leads the way as chief executives leave the White House in Washington, Friday, March 27, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

The administration may go public with some of its "stress test" results, which diagnose how well the country's 19 biggest banks will weather the financial crisis, insiders tell the Wall Street Journal. The administration has so far been treating all banks equally, but the stronger banks could soon be repaying government cash, revealing which institutions are weakest.

Federal officials believe disclosing some information from the test results across the board will prevent stronger banks—such as Goldman Sachs, which yesterday signaled it was preparing to repay TARP funds—from gaining an unfair advantage by selectively disclosing information. However, some fear the effect the publicized test results could have on troubled banks. "You can create a run on a bank pretty quickly," noted one analyst.
(Read more financial crisis stories.)

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