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Bank CEOs Give Market Something to Talk About

Friday, 13 Mar 2009 | 3:24 PM ET

Although the recent euphoria has waned somewhat, the market surged upward this week on hopes that the nation's leading banks were turning a corner.

The sentiment was sparked by an internal memo from Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit released Tuesday.

“We are profitable through the first two months of 2009 and are having our best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007,” Pandit told employees.

From 'Fast Money':

Citigroup’s Chairman Richard Parsons seconded this news in an interview with Reuters Thursday, saying that he had confidence in the “future viability and strength of a privately held Citi.”

Bank of America’s CEO Ken Lewis furthered the hope of a come back in the banking sector, saying that BofA had been profitable in the first two months of 2009 and would continue to be so throughout the year.

Here's a round-up of what the financial executives were saying this week:

Lewis on Financial Recovery
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis addresses the Chief Executives' Club on recovery of financial institutions.

“Bank of America should generate more than $100 billion in revenue this year, and close to $50 billion in pre-tax, pre-provision earnings.”

—Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO

Bank of America CEO on Financial Recovery Q&A
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis takes questions from the Chief Executives' Club on recovery of financial institutions.

“I actually think the next six months are going to be, in a positive way, a gut-wrenching time…we’re going to start seeing signs of improvement and, at some point, you have to pull the trigger on that investment or that expansion.”

—Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO

Dimon: No Silver Bullet
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says that this financial crisis is one of the most serious the world has seen and folks looking for a silver bullet solution will be disappointed.

“There are modest signs of recovery and healing out there. I think a lot of banks will be fine…we shouldn’t blanket everybody with the same brush.”

—Jamie Dimon, JP MorganCEO

JP Morgan's Dimon Q&A
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon takes questions following his speech on the current financial crisis.

“I think if we act like a dysfunctional family, and we don’t finish these things and are forever debating them, I think this will go on for several years at this point.”

—Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO

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