Timmy’s got more trouble. In a newly-released examiner’s report about the bankruptcy at Lehman Brothers, the New York Federal Reserve Bank (NYFRB), which was headed at the time by Treasury Secretary Geithner, is implicated as being in collusion with Lehman management’s efforts to keep their true financial condition hidden.
Here’s just one area of, shall we say, questionable behavior. The so-called “stress tests”:
“After March 2008 when the SEC and FRBNY began onsite daily monitoring of Lehman, the SEC deferred to the FRBNY to devise more rigorous stress-testing scenarios to test Lehman’s ability to withstand a run or potential run on the bank. The FRBNY developed two new stress scenarios: “Bear Stearns” and “Bear Stearns Light.” Lehman failed both tests. The FRBNY then developed a new set of assumptions for an additional round of stress tests, which Lehman also failed. However, Lehman ran stress tests of its own, modeled on similar assumptions, and passed. It does not appear that any agency required any action of Lehman in response to the results of the stress testing.”
“So let’s see what we got here. They ran two sets of stress tests and the firm failed both. Not satisfied with the results they then designed a third set, which the firm also failed (we can reasonably presume the third had less stringent requirements than the other two!)
Instead of applying any of these three, FRBNY, which was run by one Mr. Timothy Geithner… instead took Lehman’s word that all was ok and did nothing.
Wait a minute. In the spring of 2009 we were told that all the big banks ran “Stress Tests” of Geithner’s design. But Treasury didn’t actually run them and didn’t actually get and process the data – they told the banks to do so.
Uh, that’s exactly what Lehman did, right? And Lehman passed its own “internally computed” stress test but failed all three of the externally-computed ones.
Do you still accept that all these other banks are solvent?”
Yves Smith at naked capitalism has the solution:
“It is time for Geithner to go. He is not fit to serve as Treasury secretary.”