The FT has reported that:
HSBC has unveiled plans to take $45bn of mainly complex debt investments onto its balance sheet to end uncertainty surrounding its structured investment vehicles in the latest sign of the pressure banks are experiencing as a result of the credit squeeze.
The UK-listed bank said its decision to bail out its structured investment vehicles (SIVs) would provide certainty for investors in the funds, for HSBC shareholders and for the bank and could help support the broader market by removing the threat of a fire sale of the assets its vehicle held.
The first paragraph is the good news.
The second the admission that these SIVs are of dubious worth. Why else worry about fire sale?
HSBC had net worth of $114 billion at its last balance sheet date. OK, that's assets of $1,860 billion less liabilities of $1,746 billion, but this remains significant in net worth terms. So they wouldn't be doing this if they weren't worried.
Take it as read that they are.