THE SPARK: The Fed reviewed the balance sheets of 19 bank holding companies to determine whether they could withstand a severe crisis: unemployment at 13 percent, stock prices falling 60 percent over two years and home prices plunging 21 percent from today's levels.
The Fed released the results after the markets closed on Tuesday. Besides
THE BIG PICTURE: The 15 banks that passed got a green light from the Fed to boost their dividends and take other steps that will make their stocks more attractive to investors.
The Fed didn't order any of the banks that failed its test to raise specific sums. However, it won't allow them to increase dividends or buy back shares, and it told them to submit plans within 30 days outlining how they plan to get stronger.
THE ANALYSIS: Sterne Agee analyst
Nadel said it's possible that
At that point, the company won't be formally regulated by the Fed until it's designated as a non-bank systematically important financial institution, which probably won't happen until late this year, he said.
THE SHARES: In heavy midday trading,
Over the past 52 weeks, the company's shares have traded between
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