Traditional banks are on the front lines of the economy. When consumers hurt, banks hurt. When businesses hurt, banks hurt.  If money is tight in America, banks feel the pinch. It doesn't matter if the pain is cyclical or the result of "vampire squid" behavior, banks who rely on lending ride the fortunes of everyday Americans.

This is true even if a bank is over $1 trillion in assets, like Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), or is a smaller regional player like U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) or People's United Financial (NASDAQ:PBCT).

It is this reality that has Motley Fool contributor Jay Jenkins concerned. In the video below, he explains how the confluence of rising interest rates, tapering Quantitative Easing programs, and a still-weak labor market could make for a tough time for banks.

Fool contributor Jay Jenkins has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.