Even In Crisis, U.S. Banks Best Europe's

Everyone is aware—sometimes gleefully so—that the global recession was made in America. Wall Street served as the beating heart that pumped toxic debts into global circulation and almost wrecked the entire financial system. It would follow, then, that New York banks were the hardest hit. But that's not so. According to new research by the Boston Consulting Group, U.S. banks were among the best performers in the developed world last year. That's relatively speaking, of course—the total shareholder return, which takes into account stock prices and dividend payouts, fell by 44 percent. But banks in Britain and Western Europe fared worse. Germany ranked last, returning negative 62 percent, followed by France, down 61.5 percent. Only Australia, Canada and Japan bested the Americans. The disease born in America has hit hardest across the Atlantic.