If you like putting your money where your mouth is, this might be the perfect week for you. Dozens of banks and thrifts will be reporting their quarterly earnings over the next few days.

Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Wachovia (NYSE:WB)? Sure. SunTrust (NYSE:STI), BB&T (NYSE:BBT), M&T (NYSE:MTB), and First Fifth Bancorp (NASDAQ:FITB)? You bet -- and these aren't even all of the financial services specialists reporting this week that are members of the S&P 500.

Beyond that, you have plenty of small local thrifts and growing regional players that will also be announcing their latest quarter's financials. In short, if you don't have a clear picture of the state of this country's banking sector by week's end, you just weren't paying attention.

While there have been a few misbehavers, it's been mostly good times for the industry. Low rates have kept the lines of credit and mortgage businesses booming while an improving economy has kept loan defaults mostly in check.

This doesn't mean that the sector is always rock steady -- even if your name is Bank of Granite (NASDAQ:GRAN). This is still a cyclical industry. While rising rates may bring savers back into interest-bearing instruments, keeping tabs on how the banks and thrifts are faring is probably a good idea. So go ahead and put your money where your mouth is -- just ask yourself if you know where that money's been.

What about banking through the Internet? Are you comfortable pursuing higher rates and lower fees through the many online outfits? How safe is it? All this and more -- in the Online Banking discussion board. Only on Fool.com.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can't remember ever putting money in his mouth, though he remembers the one time when his oldest son swallowed a dime. He still keeps it around. He does not own shares in any companies mentioned in this story.