Five years after large U.S. financial institutions threatened to capsize the global economy, a seemingly endless parade of negative headlines continues to bedevil the banking industry.
But even though some of the headlines may not look good, the scorecard shows banks are winning what one analyst has called a "war" against them.
Like the rest of the market, bank stocks bottomed in March 2009 but have rebounded ever since.
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They've even done better than the major averages, which have been on a powerful run in 2012 and 2013, and analysts are getting more vocal in their crowing over the industry's health.
"Despite these results, or perhaps because of them, the government is now making a new attempt to cripple the banks," Dick Bove, the outspoken vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets, said in a note to clients. "Fortunately, it is likely that no one is going to listen to the attackers at this point."
The KBW Bank Index surged nearly 30 percent last year - more than twice the Standard & Poor's 500 - and is up another 10.5 percent in 2013, ahead of the S&P's 8.8 percent rise, though they've hit some resistance this week in the face of another European debt headache.
Bove alleges that a media-government cabal "oriented toward one goal: Get the banks," has formed but failed to take down the financial industry's major players.
Most recently JPMorgan has been in the government's sights over the London Whale trading debacle that cost the country's largest bank more than $6 billion in losses and generated a public relations disaster.
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Bove said the anti-bank crowd should focus on more compelling facts about the industry: Earnings have grown 14 straight quarters and profits rose 20 percent to $141 billion, the second-best ever, in 2012, with more likely to come this year.