So much for green shoots: Financial crisis could last until 2013, S&P says


The stress tests may be over, but banks "are far from a recovery, and the banking crisis has merely entered a new phase," credit rating firm Standard & Poor's says. And the problems that have pushed financial institutions to the brink and roiled global markets may last until 2013.

If that prediction is even close to correct, it suggests the faint signs of economic recovery that have popped up recently -- the rallying stock market and "less bad" unemployment and housing figures -- may be illusory. After all, the economy probably won't strengthen as long as major banks are cutting back on lending.