Big banks don't have many loud cheerleaders these days, but they might not need many more than Dick Bove.

The longtime bank analyst has been on a somewhat solitary mission to defend the banking industry, and especially its largest companies, against many of the criticisms it has faced since the financial crisis. Outspoken and unapologetic about his opinions, which range from the well-argued to the tenuous, Bove has been in business for more than four decades and is one of the most quoted voices on Wall Street. He is not always pro-bank: one of his reports got him sued for defamation in 2008 by BankAtlantic, in a dispute that was eventually settled out of court. But in the past year, as big banks have come under mounting scrutiny over their size and risk-management, Bove has increasingly stepped up in their defense, in part by attacking many of their critics.

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