Banks Holding Up to the Downturn Stress

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to release the results of the latest bank stress tests this Thursday, which are expected to signal healthy balance sheets—a marked difference from the 2009 round of stress tests, and another indicator that our slowly recovering economy has been on an even sunnier upswing the past few months. The previous round of stress tests—which ended last March—weren't released to the public.

The purpose of the stress tests is to see how well financial institutions could survive an economic downturn worse than the one that followed the Lehman collapse, with 13 percent unemployment and 50 percent stock market decline. If banks don't fare well under the stress test, they might have to raise billions of dollars in order to get on safer ground. “Everybody wants to avoid headlines,”Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski told The New York Times. “People are angry at the banks, and both the banks and the regulators just want to do something to show we’re working our way back towards normalcy. That’s what everyone is craving.”

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Being nominated for and winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards helped give a boost to The Artist'sbox-office draw—67 percent of the movie's revenue has come post-nomination. The post-Oscars bump isn't a new trend, though—last year's Best Picture winner The King's Speech reaped 57 percent of its profits post-nomination.

The Economist

Reason to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Despite the spike in anti-union rhetoric on the right, public opinion seems largely to side with unions. Seventy-two percent of the public has a positive image of public employees—who make up the majority of union members—according to a new Bloomberg poll. About half think the government is targeting unions unfairly.



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