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In the biggest advance in European integration since the launch of the euro in 1999, the European Central Bank (ECB) will take charge of supervising banks from Helsinki to Lisbon in November after subjecting their books to unprecedented scrutiny.Many economists say Europe is at least five years behind the United States in cleaning up its banks, which explains in part why the eurozone's economic recovery is so slow and fragile. But it is not clear that the ECB exercise, involving a rigorous review of 131 banks' assets and liabilities and a tough test of their ability to withstand economic shocks, will be sufficient to get more credit flowing into the "real economy". The stress test results will be published in the second half of October and the ECB proposes giving banks just 48 hours to review the findings, although bankers want more time.Veron expects the "zombies" – banks deemed not to have sufficient capital to withstand economic shocks – to fall into two groups.
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