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U.S. May Reveal Health of Banks: Report

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to disclose the conditions of the 19 biggest banks in the U.S., a report says.

The Obama administration is drawing up plans to disclose the conditions of the 19 biggest banks in the U.S. after concluding that keeping many of the findings secret could send investors fleeing from financial institutions rumored to be weakest, the

New York Times

reports.

All of the banks are expected to pass the tests, but some are expected to be graded more highly than others, the newspaper reports. Officials have deliberately left unclear just how much they intend to reveal -- or to encourage the banks to reveal -- about how well they would weather difficult economic conditions over the next two years.

As a result, the

New York Times

reports, indicating which banks are most vulnerable still runs some risk of doing what officials hope to avoid.

Two senior government officials said they were now likely to encourage the banks to reveal a range of information, perhaps including the size of losses the banks could suffer under each of the stress assumptions. Critics of the testing system, however, have questioned whether the hypothetical cases are extreme enough.

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"The assessments are not yet complete," Stephanie Cutter, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, told the

New York Times

. "When they are, we'll work with the banks on how best to release the appropriate data and on what time frame to ensure fairness and minimize market uncertainty."

The Treasury Department and the

Federal Reserve

have asked banks not to discuss the exams publicly out of concern that information will trickle out inconsistently and create market chaos,

Reuters

reports, citing a source familiar with the talks between the government and the banks.