05/19/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bank Profits Mask Economic Peril Still Lurking

Citigroup announced a surprisingly strong first-quarter profit yesterday, the latest bank to report a sharp improvement from the disastrous final months of 2008.

The earnings bloom, however, is probably a false spring, according to bank executives and financial analysts. Banks rise and fall with the economy. As prosperity recedes, more people and companies are defaulting on loans. The nation and its banks still face grave challenges, they said.

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