As the big banks put the finishing touches on their first-quarter earnings reports, Fools are pondering what lies ahead.

I doubt anyone is expecting blow-out quarters; banks are operating in a harsh environment because of the flat yield curve, housing weakness, and subprime lending woes. While the subprime originators like NovaStar (NYSE:NFI) and Accredited Home Lenders (NASDAQ:LEND) felt the brunt of these problems, how the banks will be affected by defaults and delinquencies remains to be seen. At least one commercial bank, though, has reported that these problems are trickling into the Alt-A market.

All eyes will be on Wachovia (NYSE:WB) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) when they report on Monday, April 16, and set the tone for the rest of the banks. For now, sit back, pull up a chair, and read these Foolish Forecasts for clues on what to expect.

BB&T and Bank of America are Income Investor recommendations. Find more dividend superstars with a free 30-day trial of James Early's low-risk, high-reward newsletter service.

Fool financial services editor Joey Khattab owns shares of BB&T. The Fool has a disclosure policy you can bank on.