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Extra resources for Global Institutions and Development: Framing the World?
By mid-2009, they could not compete with the majors in attracting ba rgain-hunting i nvestors w ho were f ocused o n r ecapitalizing the big units. Many were forced to r aise their capital base by selling their assets o r ma king f ewer l oans. S. 3 The problem banks could cost the FDIC billions of dollars and deplete its insurance fund, which protects household deposits. When a ba nk fa ils a nd its deposits a re g uaranteed by t he FDIC, t he agency may take it over. In that case, the FDIC must pay the depositors (up to t he legally ma ximum i nsured a mount of $250,000 p er depositor) a nd sort out the assets and liabilities of the failed bank.
What criteria should be specified for testing the health of their balance sheets? And should the results of the exercise be published? Was the German role critical in adopting the final design of the stress test that would be uniform for all of the problem banks? These questions, which were avoided in the earlier tests, are addressed in the next section. VI. EU Stress Test: Design and Results At t he outset, t he EU regulators needed to s elect ba nks t hat m ight adequately represent t he assets of t he ba nking i ndustry.
M ore t han 150 m embers o f t he r egulatory a gencies p ored o ver t he balance sheets of the 19 banks in order to gauge their capital adequacy, examined bankers’ projections of their near-term survivability, and sought to sidestep surprises lurking in the bankers’ books. The purpose of the test was to de termine the banks’ need for capital backing ba sed on t heir 2009 first-quarter ba lance sheet health a nd t heir projected losses in 2009 a nd 2010 in the event that the worst-case scenario, that of a severe recession, materialized.