It’s a bad omen when a bank takes an allowance against deferred tax assets. It can mean the bank doesn’t expect to make enough money for the asset to be of any use.

So it’s reassuring that banks have recovered perhaps $1 billion in tax assets jeopardized by the downturn. That leaves billions to go as third quarter earnings reports approach, with some institutions set to post profits that bring them closer to recovering their past writedowns. (See the following sortable and downloadable table. Text continues below.)

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