Daily Gains Letter

Morgan Stanley Stocks


How the 2008 Stock Market Crash Made These American Banks Safest Investments Now

By for Daily Gains Letter | Mar 13, 2015

Bank StocksWhen Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. crashed after the impact of the sub-prime financial crisis in 2008, the financial sector was turned upside down. Regulators made a bold and smart decision to clean up the banking sector and its somewhat secretive high-risk activities.

Fast-forward nearly seven years, and the banking sector is clearly stronger and more trustworthy than it has ever been. Investors can thank the annual Federal Reserve bank stress test for this.

Fed’s Stress Test Making Banks the Safest Investment for Long-Term Investors?

The Fed’s financial crisis stress test aims to analyze the stability of the country’s largest banks with assets of more than $50.0 billion. It includes both a round one quantitative test and a round two qualitative portion.

After the rigorous testing based on the assumptions of a severe financial crisis, all but three banks passed. While all of them made it through the first round, only the U.S. units of Santander and Deutsche failed on a qualitative basis. The Bank of America Corporation (NYSE/BAC) was approved based on the acceptance of a new capital strategy by the end of September.

The financial crisis stress test is critical, as it gives investors and consumers confidence in the country’s banking system and pushes the banks to put measures in place to help avoid the mess we witnessed in 2008. The promise of the financial crisis testing is to put the various banks under the worst economic situations and see how they would fare. The assumptions under a financial crisis include severe recessions, high unemployment above 11%, plummeting home prices, and a crash in the stock market by 50%…. Read More