Guess What: The Stress Tests Aren't Actually Testing The Banks

Angela Merkel

As we await the 12:00 PM ET release of the Euro stress tests, let’s take a step back and consider the bigger picture of what we’re about to see unfold.

If you recall, during the worst of the euro crisis earlier this summer, many questioned both the structure of the eurozone, and the ability of euro leaders to work together. Angela Merkel’s intransigence was worrisome. Jean-Claude Trichet’s unwillingness to play ball was seen as a reason to worry.

Suddenly the thought that all these countries with their various squabbling finance ministers could possibly work together seemed absurd.

What we’re about to see is not a test of the banks, really. That the tests would be designed so that everyone would “pass” was obvious from the beginning.

What’s been actually tested is political and regulatory harmonization. If Europe can pull of this event, and it goes as planned, it’s actually a huge thumbs up for the notion that European regulators, politicians, and the ECB can work together and pull this off.

For now, we wait.

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