In early 2007, the nation's 21 largest banks had a collective worth of almost $2 trillion. By February, the figure plummeted to more like $350 billion, as the financial rumblings that started last year erupted into a full-blown meltdown.
But some of the nation's banking big shots didn't stay down for long, boasting sizeable gains in stock prices, and, in turn, their market capitalization in recent months.
Goldman Sachs posted billion-dollar profits in the latest quarter and has emerged as an all-star of the banking sector rebound, with its market cap returning close to early 2007 levels.
Wells Fargo's revenue nearly doubled, helped by the acquisition of Wachovia, and JPMorgan Chase also posted a strong profit, though its credit card and traditional banking sectors remain a drag.
Even Citigroup and Bank of America — two former behemoths knee-capped by disastrous loan portfolios — posted huge profits in the most recent quarter. Citi, however, benefited from the one-time sale of its stake in Smith Barney; its market cap remains a fraction of its 2007 level.
And as Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis told Wall Street analysts: "Profitability in the second half of the year will be much tougher than the first half."
When it comes to market cap, the industry is a long way from the go-go days before the crisis. Still, anyone looking for glimmers of hope no longer has to squint quite as much.
Compiled by Graham Brink, Times Business Editor
* Market capitalization is a the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a public company.