The nation's four biggest banking companies may need to raise up to $800 billion in additional capital to withstand further loan losses and investment banking writedowns, according to new research.

Lord, Whalen LLC's Institutional Risk Analytics put the entire banking industry through a stress test using fourth-quarter data, evaluating what it called "economic capital," or a "highly stressed scenario" for maximum losses in lending, trading, and investment activities. The Torrance, Calif., research firm determined that the average industry measure of stress jumped 15% from the previous quarter, to 1.77.

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