I have got to tell you all, I am LOVING THESE STRESS TESTS. For real. Who'd have thought that you could have a test in which the testees could negotiate their own results, fail anyway, and then have their failures declared a resounding success? If only the SATs were administered that way, I wouldn't have had to stuff my teenage brain full of strange analogies -- none of which go far enough in helping me rationalize the logic of this economy!
Anyway, now that the stress test results are officially disclosed, what's coming next? This matter was taken up with aplomb by New York Magazine's Hugo Lindgren, who advises that we keep watch for the following signs:
• An eminently reasonable editorial in the Times that points out flaws in the process and decries the leaks but overall praises Treasury secretary Tim Geithner for coming through in the clutch.
• A cranky Paul Krugman.
• A sunny David Brooks.
• The CNBC cheerleaders doing handstands and cartwheels and generally keeping up their battle cry that the worst is over, bring on the glorious recovery!
• Nouriel Roubini muttering that the test is nothing but marketing pablum.
• Nassim Taleb thundering that if we don't listen to him, the unexpected is sure to bite us in the ass all over again.
Right from jump: cranky Paul Krugman? Check. Sunny David Brooks? Well, he's sunny, but about Harlem charter schools, not the stress tests. But give him time! The Times editorial board already let Geithner roll out his own preview, so we'll have to wait and see what they do next. Given the preludes offered by Roubini and Taleb, I'd say that Lindren is making a safe bet. And I trust you Media Monitors will keep us from missing any of the spastic gyrations that emanate from the CNBC Octo-Box.
I'm content to say that if each of Lindgren's list items are fulfilled, we can all, indeed, let loose with a barbarically yawped, "STRESS TEST YAHTZEE!" But if you have any additions to the list, feel free to send me your suggestions in an email with the subject line, "Another Horseman of the Stress-Test Apocalypse You Need To Watch For," and we'll be sure to keep it on our radar.
Waiting For CNBC [CJR]
Nassim Taleb Says Crisis Will Be Vastly Worse Than 30s [Clusterstock]
A Conversation with Nouriel Roubini [RGE Monitor]
Stressing The Positive [New York Times]