Campbell also recommends looking at tax-qualified preferred bank shares. "These are higher up a bank's capital structure, off ering greater dividend protection than the convertible or common shares," says Campbell. They are primarily income plays, affected by long-term interest rates and credit spreads. He likes certain Citigroup preferreds.

UBS preferred stock strategist Barry McAlinden finds several Bank of America preferreds among the most attractive, their yields having ranged from 6.66% to 6.99% at the end of January.

Advisors could also consider a number of dollar-denominated foreign issues that have no foreign currency exposure. These include Royal Bank of Scotland, Banco Santander and Deutsche Bank preferreds, whose yields repeatedly spiked above 7% over the past several months as liquidity tightened and spreads blew out. With the economy slowing, investors may likely benefit from price appreciation as interest rates continue to fall.

In trying to get a read on how much further the banking crisis has to go before things return to normal, it's probably best to ignore those who proclaim the worst is over and also to doubt those who believe that it will be years before the industry is stable. Perhaps Winston Churchill offers the most apt analysis: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." 

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