When Meredith Whitney talks -- about banks -- the market listens. Last week, Whitney was sounding alarms with a bearish outlook for the banking sector -- as if things weren't already tough enough for the big banks.
Thursday brought a market rout that rolled into a weak Friday, and almost all financial stocks ended the week lower.
The story became more interesting when famed hedge fund manager John Paulson of
Paulson & Co. took on Whitney by making a big bet on the banking sector and, in particular, stating that
Bank of America
(BAC - Get Report) would double its share price in two years time.
John Paulson's Portfolio
(Could a pay-per-view steel cage match between Whitney and Paulson be in the works? Not likely, but a Street.com poll pitting the two against each other may be in the works, so stay tuned.)So just how bad was it for the big banks? Well, Citigroup (C - Get Report) ; Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) ; JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Get Report); and UBS (UBS), were all down on Thursday and Friday. Paulson's call did help Bank of America eke out a 0.06% gain in Friday's session. Talk about the slow road to recovery. We wouldn't be surprised if Meredith Whitney had already taken cover in the bank-implosion shelter.