- President Obama's insistence that marginal tax rates rise for individuals making over $200,000 a year, and for couples earning $250,000. Some conservative political pundits have cheerfully pointed out that the GOP may wish to give in on this point, since "protecting the rich" from tax increases doesn't seem to be helping the Republicans win elections.
- Elimination of deductions and tax loopholes. Guggenheim's senior political analyst Chris Krueger said in the Nov. 21 report that a different way to soak higher-income tax payers could be possible, "if effective rates (capping and/or limiting deductions) will be enough for Democrats, or if statutory rates (reverting back to 39.6% for those households making over $250K) will be required."
- Entitlement reform. Krueger said that "what is missed by several media organizations who run headlines similar to 'Republicans Willing to Deal on Revenue' is the IF in that pledge." Krueger, who said "there is bi-partisan support to cut the providers," including hospitals and drug companies, "but beneficiary reform produces a scorched-earth defense for penny one."
- Spending Cuts. There have been no details yet on negotiations over spending cuts, although media reports on defense procurement activities show that the Pentagon is anticipating a major budget reduction.
- Debt ceiling. Here we go again. There's no denying that $16 trillion is a very ugly figure.
- Shares of Citigroup (C) closed at $36.03 Friday, returning 37% year-to-date, after dropping 44% in 2011. The shares trade for 0.7 times their reported Sept. 30 tangible book value of $52.70, which is a similar valuation to Bank of America. However, the shares have a much lower forward P/E ratio, trading for 7.8 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $4.64.
- Shares of JPMorgan Chase (JPM) closed at 41.09 Friday, returning 27% year-to-date, following a 20% decline last year. The shares trade for 1.1 times tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for 7.7 times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $5.32.
- Wells Fargo (WFC) closed at $33.20 Friday, returning 24% year-to-date, following a decline of 10% during 2011. The shares trade for 1.6 times tangible book value, according to Thomson Reuters Bank Insight, and for 9.2 times times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $3.63
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