Earnings season is kicking off this week with America’s big banks reporting starting tomorrow.

It will be a strange earnings season with all the uncertainty businesses and the economy are still facing around the coronavirus pandemic. But it might finally give investors some clarity about how bad the damage might be.

“I don’t really care about management’s view about how long this will go on for,” said Jonathan Golub, Credit Suisse’s chief US equity strategist, on a public conference call this morning. He said it’s much more important to hear about how deep the decline is for companies for now.

For banks, which are up first to report their results, the coronavirus crisis is translating into a real-time stress test, said Susan Roth Katzke, senior large cap banks analyst at Credit Suisse, on the call.

Banks are better capitalized than in the last crisis, which helped them prepare for this one. Still, the financial sector will get hit by loan forbearances and draw-downs, as well as low interest rates and declines from free-based revenues for activities like M&A.

For company earnings overall, it takes on average 10 quarters to recover from a recession, Golub said.

We’re assuming 12 quarters,” for this downturn, he added. “Effectively in 2022 we get back to where we were in 2019.”

And if it takes three years for companies to bounce back, it’s reasonable to assume that the stock market will take about the same time, he said.

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