The top-tier bank stress test results are still in the lab, but the doctors at Treasury will see the patients Wednesday, and the results will be released to the extended family after the markets close Thursday. Whether or not Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PNC, or other institutions will need more capital, remains to be seen. The unattributed reports were flying about $10 billion needed here and there; Treasury not needing to go back to Congress for more money; and about banks and regulators arguing about the true meaning of balance sheets.
CreditSights has some eye-popping analysis in its May 4 “Stress Test Countdown” note. “We estimate that for Citi to preserve majority ownership there cannot be full conversion of the government’s TARP preferred equity without also expanding its exchange offer to other classes of debtholders.” Citi can hold on if it only needs “an additional $10 billion.” Under its severe scenario, “Citi could need up to an additional $20 billion of capital, even including the pro forma impact from pending preferred exchange offer,” says CreditSights. The bank’s $7.9-billion deal to sell its Japanese securities unit to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., and its Smith Barney joint venture with Morgan Stanley, could help Citi reach its capital requirements “if regulators allow the company to take credit for these pending deals.”