The absolute number of failed banks is going to be "far less important than if and when we see what the actual metrics were," Rodgin Cohen, Senior Chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell told CNBC today.
Most of the largest European banks, according to Cohen, are well capitalized but these results "can't begin to tell the full story."
Until we get the "transparency and can access the credibility," Cohen said, there will be big questions hanging over the stress tests.
Everyone has been looking at sovereign debt default, but the question he wants to know is: what assumptions were being used for the loan book? "If your talking about stress, banks have more loans than they have sovereign debt—that would be a critical element," he said.
The European stress tests, unlike the United States, have focused exclusively on tier one capital.
"It would be interesting," Cohen said, "to see where they come out on tier one common— which is what the U.S. used as a second test—as we come to a purer form of capital as the most important," Cohen concluded..
- Market Worry Stress Tests Too Easy on Sovereign Debt
- EU Banks Seek Funds Ahead of Stress Tests
- Big Questions Need Answering After Stress Tests
- Bank Tests Provide 'Credibility': Rodgin Cohen
- European Stress Tests Remain Unclear
"The Strategy Session," hosted by David Faber and Gary Kaminsky, airs weekdays at Noon ET on CNBC.