Quick thoughts: stress tests and such

May 6, 2009 in Finance,News

Front page of the NYT tonight: "As Stress Tests are Revealed, Markets Sense a Turning Point."

I know I'm a cynic, but my first thought was "...which way?" Is it even possible to turn upward after a 40% rally? Sure enough, the article is quickly laced with the caveat "All of this assumes that the economy does not take another turn for the worse." And then I have to half-seriously wonder: but wouldn't that also support the title statement?

What this means is that the "second derivative" viewpoint is really taking hold. I remain unconvinced. The first derivative is what matters.

And a final thought: if the government's investment gets converted to common stock, how does it get paid back? The bank can no longer simply hand over the money it was loaned and be done with it; it will now have to buy out a large equity stake. Do taxpayers get to vote on when that happens?

So many questions...

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