Can Your Bank Pass the Stress Test?

Treasury promises to examine ailing lenders and then decide what to do. We checked the vital signs of four big banks. Diagnosis: large dose of capital needed

Photo-illustration by Lon Tweeten for TIME

For months, customers and investors have wondered if their banks will survive. The government may soon give its opinion. But don't be surprised if you find the answer inconclusive.

In early February, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as part of his bank fix, said he will "stress-test" the nation's largest financial firms to find out which ones are fit and which ones are flatlining, and then apply the appropriate therapy — which we assume means anything from injecting capital to pulling the plug. By using a medical term, Geithner gave the impression that...

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