The financials sector is never short on news, but if you're short on time, let me do the leg work for you. I've dug through The Motley Fool's financial sector coverage over the past week to highlight five stories you don't want to overlook.
The big news this week was the results of the Federal Reserve's annual Dodd-Frank stress tests for the big boys in banking. This year's two-step process examines "how bank balance sheets would hold up under the pressure of an extremely adverse economic scenario -- a scenario that this year included a severe recession in the U.S. combined with a housing market drop, rising unemployment, a global financial shock, and marked slowdowns in the eurozone, Japan, and the developing Asian countries."
Read on for more coverage of the results and the rest of the week's highlights.
1. Everything You Need to Know About the Stress Tests
Matt Koppenheffer has compiled the important points of the results for 17 of the biggest banking heavyweights, major regional banks, and other key financials sector players -- like American Express -- here. If you own shares in any of these financials institutions, the analysis done by Matt and our team of experts will help you decide if you should be worried, relieved, disappointed, or surprised.
2. Citi CEO Corbat Makes a Big, Boring Announcement
Less than five months in, Citigroup's (NYSE: C ) new CEO, Michael Corbat is still trying to make a name for himself, and a good start would be getting Citi back on the right track after a messy few years after the financial crisis. His first move? In john Grgurich's words, "measuring everyone and everything in sight." Click through to read more about Corbat's pledge to Citi: "You are what you measure."
In more exciting news, Citi was one of the banks that came out ahead of the pack after the Fed's annual stress tests -- a pack that includes Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. Well done, Citi. Can Corbat and his team keep it up?
3. 2 Big Takeaways From Warren Buffett's Annual Letter
In this radio segment, two analysts from The Motley Fool's premium investing services take to the microphone to discuss their takeaways from Buffett's annual letter to shareholders, published last week. Click through to the video to hear the guys' points of view. Do they agree with the Oracle himself, that 2012 was a "sub-par" year?
4. Why Basel III Matters
John Maxfield, the charting Fool, is back this week with one simple chart: Why Basel III matters to Bank of America. The bank may have passed the first stress test with room to spare, but will the new Tier 1 common capital obligations under Basel III prove to be more than the bank can handle?
5. 5 Reasons a Bear Can Be Bullish on Bank of America
One Fool challenges his own bearish position on Bank of America and outlines five reasons even he could find to be bullish on the big bank. Awaiting additional analysis (and alliteration)? Click through to John Grgurich's piece -- B of A bulls and bears alike might find some insights in Grgurich's discussion of the bank's numbers, operations, and management.
Bank of America's stock doubled in 2012, and its stress test results were pretty great, too. Is there more yet to come? With significant challenges still ahead, it's critical to have a solid understanding of this megabank before adding it to your portfolio. In The Motley Fool's premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu, CFA, and Matt Koppenheffer, Financials bureau chief, lift the veil on the bank's operations, including detailing three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Click here now to claim your copy.