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Big profits for B of A, but BB&T not so hot

Bank of America and a number of the nation's largest banks posted strong earnings for the second quarter this week, doing better than Wall Street expected. But Winston Salem BB&T wasn't as lucky. It fell below analyst expectations, reporting $121 million in net income, or 20 cents a share, for the second quarter of 2009. BB&T CEO Kelly King told investors by phone the bank suffered from losses on home loans and the cost of paying back $3 billion in federal bailout money. King says the day BB&T paid back that money was "glorious" and he worries that most of the country's biggest banks have yet to follow suit. "Frankly the main advantage to me is that it eliminates the possibility of the government politicizing lending in our institution," says King. The chairman of BB&T had previously called the TARP bailout program a "ripoff." Bank of America is still working to pay back the 45 billion bailout dollars it has received since the fall. Charlotte-based Bank of America experienced losses on loans in the second quarter, but saw huge gains in its trading business, thanks to the acquisition of Merrill Lynch. B of A reported a second quarter profit of $2.42 billion, or 33 cents per share.