All four of America's biggest and banks which collective own almost two-thirds of the commercial banking assets in the nation, made profits in the first quarter of 2009. All of this is a matter of accounting practices to some extent. But, these small number of data points regarding dominant players in the industry can say a great deal about the state of the industry as a whole.
It may even indicate that after having moved from having what is primarily a real estate bubble collapse, to having what is primarily a financial crisis, and that we are now moving on to a broad based recession, particularly for goods producing industries, not driven particularly greatly by either the real estate or the financial sector, even though those industries may not be out of the woods yet. If this is true, traditional anti-recessionary measures, rather than those targeted at particular industries, may be most helpful at this point.