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WASHINGTON, DC-The results of the federal government’s stress tests of the nation’s top banks have finally been made public. The bottom line: a total of $74.6 billion will be needed to bolster the capital reserves of ten of the nation’s 19 largest banks.

The other nine institutions have been deemed healthy enough to withstand even harsher economic conditions than the economy has seen over the last nine months. The nine companies put in the clear by the Treasury Department on Thursday afternoon were: JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, MetLife, US Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street, Capital One Financial, BB&T and American Express.

The news does not signify clear sailing ahead: many of the banks’ capital needs reach into the multi-billions, starting with Bank of America. The government found that BofA needed to raise $33.9 billion to meet worse case loss estimate shortfalls. Wells Fargo follows Bank of America with a $13.7-billion tab. Even Citigroup, which has already received substantial government assistance, needs to raise an additional $5.5 billion.

Taken as a whole, though, the results bode well for the banking industry. If these measurements can be deemed an accurate assessment, even if worse case scenarios do develop, there is enough money–some $100 billion in the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program passed last fall–left to cover the shortfalls.

At least that is the optimistic cast of Thursday’s news. There are some troubling implications from the test results that also bear considering. For starters, before Lehman Bros. failed in September, $75 billion was a startling number. Also, if the largest banks do require additional capital injections, that will leave little for the next tier of institutions.

Indeed, while the spotlight has been on the 19 large banks, there are some 8,000 banks that will eventually undergo testing. Some cynical industry watchers have suggested that the smaller local banks–which have become essential to many real estate financings–will be put through much more rigid testing than their larger counterparts. In other words, while the government did not want to see the large banks fail–especially with only $100 million on hand to rescue them–it will not be so easy on the smaller institutions.

Real estate lending is bound to suffer as the next tier undergoes their own testing, many have suggested. Furthermore, one of the faint silver linings that could come from the upheaval–the opportunity to acquire banks’ assets–also holds out the possibility of severe missteps as well.

For better or worse, though, these two scenarios–decreased lending and asset acquisition opportunities–are developments that cannot begin to play out for another several months. In the near term, the results will give a much needed boost of confidence to the markets–and perhaps to lenders as well. Given the still precarious state of the economy, a confidence booster now almost trumps the drawbacks that may appear months down the road.

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