The 34 largest U.S. banks have all cleared the first stage of an annual stress test, showing they would be able to maintain enough capital in an extreme recession to meet regulatory requirements, the Federal Reserve said on Thursday. Although the banks, including household names like JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp, would suffer $383 billion in loan losses in the Fed’s most severe scenario, their level of high-quality capital would be substantially higher than the threshold that regulators demand, and an improvement over last year’s level. “This year’s results show that, even during a severe recession, our large banks would remain well capitalized,” said Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who leads banking regulation for the central bank. “This would allow them to lend throughout the economic cycle, and support households and businesses when times are tough.” The Fed introduced the stress tests in the wake of the financial crisis to ensure the health of the banking industry, whose ability to lend is considered crucial to the health of the economy. Since the first test was conducted in 2009, big banks have seen losses abate, loan portfolios improve and profits grow. The banks that now undergo the exam have also strengthened their balance sheets by adding more than $750 billion in top-notch capital, the Fed said.
Days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit, the US has cleared the sale of the state-of-the-art Guardian UAV technology to India, to further mutual security interests to protect the Indian Ocean. This is the first significant progress after India gained membership of the exclusive Missile Technology Control Regime and the US named India as a major defence partner. The Indian Navy has been awaiting the transfer of this technology since last year. New Delhi reckons that clinching a deal on the purchase of 22 unarmed drones would be a litmus test on the Trump Administration’s approach to the India-US defence ties that flourished under Barack Obama. It is another matter the Guardian UAV proposal was kept in abeyance by Obama during the last leg of his tenure. Sources said the deal would pave the way for other key technology sales to India. The White House gave strong positive leadership for the US administration to approve the sale of Guardian UAV technology to India, they added. The “Gaurdian” are Category 1 aircraft with state-of-the-art technologies. The US-based General Atomics built ‘EMALS’ as well as Guardian unmanned aircraft are cutting edge technologies that can help both countries with their common maritime security objectives.
Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured trade and industry that their grievances on GST would be taken up with the government and she would personally recommend having a review three months after its implementation. Responding to queries about fixing the slab for different trades and industries during an interactive session organised by BJP’s Coimbatore district unit here, Sitharaman, who is Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said there should not be any confusion about GST rates on various products. Industry should come forward to raise their doubts and objections, she added. The Minister said there would be some teething problems during implementation of the system, which was conceptualised by taking the people into confidence and trust and was also passed by various State Assemblies. “However, in case if the industries are not 100 per cent satisfied, definitely I will recommend to have a review after three months, as suggested by some organisations,” she said. Assuring that no penalty would be imposed for three months if small and medium entrepreneurs failed to submit GST returns, she said the government was ready to make accessible the system, through chartered accountants and cost accountants Associations of various chambers of commerce at district headquarters.