This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
officials say they will publish results on May fourth from a special
examination of banks. The purpose was to see if the country's nineteen largest
banks could survive losses in the event that the recession got even worse.
Obama administration announced the so-called stress tests in February as part
of efforts to rebuild the trust of investors. If banks are told they need more
capital, they will have six months to raise the money from private markets or the
Some experts think banks
have seen the worst of their losses and that the worst of the financial crisis
may already have passed. On Thursday JPMorgan Chase reported more than two
billion dollars in profit for the first three months of this year. That was
better than expected. Earlier, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo also reported
But the same is not true for the housing
market. The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the building of new
homes fell in March to the second-lowest level on record.
President Obama warned in a speech on Tuesday that economic
pain will continue through this year and that losses of jobs and homes will not
BARACK OBAMA: "But from where we stand, for the
very first time, we are beginning to see glimmers of hope."
The president suggested that the economy
could have reached the beginnings of a recovery.
sign is that the Standard & Poor's list of five hundred stocks has risen
more than twenty-five percent in the past five weeks. The S&P hit a
twelve-year low in early March. Financial stocks have had some of the largest
All nineteen banks are expected to pass
the stress tests. But how the results will be presented is not clear. There is
debate over whether releasing too much information might cause more harm than
good. Some people might rush to withdraw money from weaker banks.
Yet some small banks have already paid back aid from the
eight largest banks in the country have received about one hundred sixty-five
billion dollars in aid. Goldman Sachs received ten billion last October from
the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Now it wants to pay that back.
On Tuesday, the bank sold more than five billion
dollars in common stock in an effort to pay back the government. That was a day
after it announced better-than-expected earnings. By returning the aid, Goldman
Sachs could free itself from government limits on pay for top employees.
And that's the VOA Special English Economics
Report, written by Mario Ritter. For more business news, go to voaspecialenglish.com.