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Differing opinions on risk to US banks [ClearOnMoney]
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Differing opinions on risk to US banks

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Commentary

Differing opinions on risk to US banks

17 Nov 2011 by Jim Fickett.

No one really knows what kind of derivative risk US banks risk if/when the debt crisis in Europe worsens. Here are opinions from Fitch and HSBC, as reported by Bloomberg:

U.S. banks face a “serious risk” that their creditworthiness will deteriorate if Europe’s debt crisis deepens and spreads beyond the five most-troubled nations, Fitch Ratings said.

“Unless the euro zone debt crisis is resolved in a timely and orderly manner, the broad credit outlook for the U.S. banking industry could worsen,” the New York-based rating company said yesterday in a statement. Even as U.S. banks have “manageable” exposure to stressed European markets, “further contagion poses a serious risk,” Fitch said, without explaining what it meant by contagion. …

The Fitch report is a worst-case scenario and is “oddly out of step” with the rating company’s previous reports, analysts at HSBC Holdings Plc said today. U.S. banks may even benefit as investors shift money to the U.S. from Europe, HSBC said.