Off-Balance ExposureWells' maximum loss exposure to off-balance sheet items was roughly $100.6 billion as of March 31. Its QSPEs are mostly weighted in residential and commercial mortgages, while other off-balance sheet items called unconsolidated variable interest entities, or VIEs, mostly contain "investment funds" and collateralized debt obligations. Barclays Capital analyst Jason Goldberg was unfazed by Wells' large amount of off-balance sheet exposure, noting that potential losses would only occur under an "assumed hypothetical circumstance, despite its extremely remote possibility." But there are some indications that Wells may have shakier assets off-balance sheet than on.
What the Fed: Off Balance Sheet Shell Game