Investors have been heartened to see troubled banks replace leadership or repay bailout money, but they still are finding hard numbers deep in the books that are reinforcing their more surface perceptions of the industry's "haves" and "have-nots."

Concerns about credit quality, depressed returns and the accounting methods applied to hard-to-value assets are holding down price-to-book ratios for some banks, which by this point probably need no reminder of the consequences of poor lending decisions.

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