Fuzzy numbers make Citi the second strongest bank


Even after posting $28 billion in losses last year, writing off more than $108 billion in toxic assets since the beginning of 2007 and taking $50 billion in aid from the U.S. government, Citigroup (C) is still the second-strongest bank in the world, according to The Banker, a British financial magazine.

Say what? Citi trails only JPMorgan Chase (JPM), widely regarded as the healthiest of the big financial institutions, on the publication's list of the thousand sturdiest banks, and is immediately followed by Bank of America (BAC), which has seen its fair share of losses and write-downs over the past couple of years. What exactly do The Banker's rankings measure?