Citigroup (NYSE: C), JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM), and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) have released quarterly earnings recently, and though they've looked good on paper, in this Fool TV video, Motley Fool Income Investor advisor James Early warns investors not to get too excited.

Why? Because these banks are taking the worst route to higher earnings possible: by not just cost-cutting, but releasing reserves. For instance, of JPMorgan's highest-ever quarterly profit, one-third was a result of released reserves (draining the cookie-jar buffer), and Bank of America is also now expecting a $7 billion to $10 billion credit-card business writedown because of financial reform.

The real question is: Are banks right to release reserves? And after these earnings reports, are they worth buying? Watch for James' analysis in the Fool TV video below:

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