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Confusion whether Greek banks passed Stress Tests; Athens Stock Exchange -3.29%

Hardly had the European Central Bank released Sunday the official results of the stress tests, Greek mainstream media started to hail “Greek banks passed the tests” and “No need for recapitalization”. It took just a couple of minutes for a war of words to break out on the internet with various users citing the original ECB press release and also international media like Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Reuters claiming that “3 Greek banks had failed.”

Some users even tweeted to the account of ECB asking for clarifications.  Yestraday Sunday the ECB confirmed that 3 out of 4 Greek banks had failed. However later it deleted the tweet and apologized.

The Greek government expressed satisfaction over the results.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a written statement:

“The stress tests of Greek banks exceeded every expectation. We are now exiting the crisis step by step, on strong foundations. This is the only way to create a new Greece which is proud, financially strong and socially just. Nobody must be allowed to interrupt this course.”

Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis:

“The last two months, the Greek banks have completed two cycles of stress tests,” he noted. “They were recapitalised successfully and now have strong capital adequacy. It is a very positive development that confirms the rightness of the policy implemented by the government and the Bank of Greece in the bank sector. It is also especially significant that the reserves of 11.4 billion euros of the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund have not been allocated yet.”

Some government representatives vehemently rejected that any Greek bank had failed the stress tests and warned their opponents on Sunday:

MP A. Georgiadis: “You will see how the stock market will react tomorrow”

At the very end, the market reacted today, Monday, and the Athens Stock Exchange fell at 3.29%.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal has a nice graphic still featuring National Bank of Greece, Eurobank and Piraeus Bank as “failed”.

I suppose the truth lies in what @France Coppola wrote me: “three failed but all have already raised the capital needed to close the gap.”

ECB document here

PS Blessed are those who have no idea about anything 🙂

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