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Banks 'Ready to Go' When Economy Booms: Sandler O’Neill Strategist

Markets gained on Wednesday, primarily led by banks. So how should investors be positioned in the financials? Robert Albertson, principal and chief strategist at Sandler O’Neill, shared his insights.

Citigroup is in far better shape—I see no risk to it in terms of systemic or solvency at all,” Albertson told CNBC.

“The question is how much can they earn in 2012, which is the year everyone's focusing on. ...But the balance sheet is as solid as you need.”

Citigroup shares jumped more than 4 percent as Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove gave the bank a vote of confidence on CNBC this morning. Citi is up 12 percent in the past five days as investors have cheered the company's progress.

Albertson said the banking system is "solid and ready to go," and is now waiting for the economy to improve. He also said that financials have performed “far, far better” than in any other recession since World War II.

“If you’re going to have a market recovery, you’ve got to have financials leading it," he added. "They haven’t caught up yet, so that’s possibly a good sign."

  • Watch Albertson's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Jan. 28, 2010)

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No immediate information was available for Albertson or his firm.