Banking is fundamentally a simple business. Banks access funds and lend them out. If fees and expenses are properly managed, a bank's ability to leverage its equity capital should result in a satisfactory return for shareholders.

However, managing a bank, as an institutional investor once said, is "like landing a plane on an aircraft carrier — there is only one way to do it right and a lot of ways to do it wrong." Unfortunately, a lot of banks recently missed the carrier deck.

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