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Steve Chiotakis: European leaders caved in to an American request. They’ve agreed to publish the results of their bank “stress tests”. U.S. officials hope the tests will reveal the financial health of Europe’s banks. But didn’t we have bank stress tests here in the U.S.? And did they solve any of our financial troubles? Here’s Marketplace Europe correspondent Stephen Beard.
Stephen Beard: Europe is testing more than twenty of its biggest banks, subjecting them to a series of theoretical traumatic events to see which ones need to raise more capital. The U.S. did this last year on 19 American banks and then published the results. But the Europeans have generally prefered a more discreet approach, keeping the test results private.
Now, there’s been a change of heart. The European banking system is seizing up because of doubts about whose holding the dodgiest debt. Suspicions are deepest in Spain, and in order to dispel them, the Spanish government has now persuaded its European partners to follow the American model. Jan Randolph analyses debt for IHS Global Insight:
Jan Randolph: They feel as though a lot of unnecessary uncertainty is generated because of the lack of transparency. And it basically clogs up the system and doesn’t allow the system to move on.
The European results will be published by the end of July.
In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.