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Monday, May 11, 2009

Bernanke Speech at 7:30 PM ET

by Calculated Risk on 5/11/2009 06:52:00 PM

UPDATE: Speech Text: The Supervisory Capital Assessment Program

My remarks this evening will focus on the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program, popularly known as the banking stress test. ...

It is important to note that this was not a solvency test. After including capital previously provided by the Treasury, all of these banking organizations currently have capital well in excess of the minimum stated capital requirements of the supervisors. Instead, the purpose of the exercise was to determine the size of the capital cushion that each organization would need to remain well capitalized and still be able to lend--even in an economic scenario more severe than expected.
In summary, the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program is an important element of broader and ongoing efforts by the Federal Reserve, other federal bank regulators, and the Treasury to ensure that our banking system has sufficient resources to navigate a challenging economic downturn. A collateral benefit is that many lessons of the exercise can be used to improve our supervisory processes. In particular, the supervisory capital assessment has demonstrated the benefits of using cross-firm, cross-portfolio information and the simultaneous review of a number of major firms to develop a more complete and fine-grained view of the health of the banking system.

Whether the objectives of the assessment program were achieved will only be known over time. We hope that in two or three years we will be able to reflect on the banking system's return to health with a sharply diminished reliance on government capital. More immediately, we hope and expect that the public and investors will take considerable comfort from the fact that our largest financial institutions have been evaluated in a comprehensive and rigorous fashion; and that they will, as a consequence, be required to have a capital buffer adequate to weather future losses and to supply needed credit to our economy--even if the economic downturn is more severe than is currently anticipated.
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak tonight at the Atlanta Fed's Financial Markets Conference in Jekyll Island, Georgia.

I believe Bernanke will be talking about the stress tests.

I'll post a link and excerpts from the prepared text when available ...

Here is the CNBC feed (maybe they will cover the speech).