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Bank earnings

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July 17, 2009 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: BAC , C , JPM

Man what a disappointment bank earnings were. Of course you wouldn't know that by reading most headlines. Everyone's talking about the "surprise" profits.

My colleague Morgan Housel caught on to the fact that the "earnings" weren't really there.

For BAC and C, the bulk of the results came from asset sales. But past that, the positive news came from investment banking and risking firm capital -- something that didn't particularly surprise me. Core banking and credit cards? Pretty lousy.

Now we already knew that both BAC and C were in pretty bad shape, so I'll be interested to see how earnings shake out for other more banky banks (ie that focus more on traditional banking business).

Oh and as long as I'm on the subject of bad news at banks, Morgan mentioned to me today that charge-offs on Washington Mutual's credit card portfolio are above 20%. Holy cow, that's BAD. For those that don't track the numbers across the industry, that's about double what everyone else is seeing (and about double JPMorgan's overall rate).

Matt

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