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Big week for city's big banks

It's a busy week in Banktown, with both of Charlotte's financial giants revealing the extent of the wounds they suffered in the second quarter.

Bank of America, the country's No. 2 bank by assets, will report earnings this morning. Wachovia, the No. 4, reports Tuesday. Both banks are fighting rising loan losses and falling share prices.

Analysts, on average, expect Bank of America to earn 53 cents per share, according to a survey of 20 analysts by Thomson One Analytics. That's less than half of the $1.29 per share that the bank earned a year ago when it posted $5.8 billion in profits, but up from 23 cents in the first quarter. Analysts expect Wachovia to fare far worse, losing 78 cents per share. It made $1.22 per share, or $2.3 billion, in the same period in 2007; in the first quarter, Wachovia lost 36 cents per share.

Both banks are civic pillars in Charlotte and drivers of the local economy. Wachovia, with 21,000 local workers, is the area's No. 2 employer behind Carolinas HealthCare. Bank of America, with 15,000, is No. 3. Read more on 6A.

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