Are banks really improving?


Judging from recent headlines, one might think the financial crisis is behind us. And how could one not think that when Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS) and today Credit Suisse (CS) all reported either a profit for the first quarter, improved results, or at the very least, topped analyst estimates.

Not only that, but Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair says "we are past the crisis stage." Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner also said recently, "The vast majority of banks have more capital than they need to be considered well capitalized by their regulators."

Time to jump into the banks, right? Wrong. There are many conflicting views and information out there, and if anything, now is the time to be more than cautious.