Lewis, Dimon, Pandit Proclaim Profits, Spur Banks

By David Mildenberg


Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis said his company was profitable in January and February, joining JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in suggesting the nation’s three biggest banks are recovering from a dismal 2008. “We have been profitable for the first two months of the year,” Lewis told reporters after delivering a speech in Boston yesterday, echoing comments this week by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon and Citigroup’s Vikram Pandit. “We expect to be profitable” in 2009, he said. Skepticism lingers about the bankers’ forecasts, said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., a Washington research firm. “Whether they will be profitable remains to be seen because with the possible exception of Mr. Dimon, the others have been hugely wrong a lot,” she said.