NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here's a shocker: Banks such as Wells Fargo (WFC), American Express (AXP) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) that are among Warren Buffett-run Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) largest stock holdings are likely to be among the best positioned to return capital after the Federal Reserve conducts its annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR).
Credit Suisse banking analyst Moshe Orenbuch highlighted American Express, Discover Financial (DFS), U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo as best positioned to return a high level of capital after the Fed's 2014 CCAR. Citigroup (C) and PNC Financial (PNC) are likely to show the most improvement among large banks in their capital return, according to Orenbuch's Nov. 27 report.
The Fed's 2014 CCAR will be a slight alteration of previous stress testing exercises. Banks will be tested for their capital in the event of a share global slowdown that impacts all major economies, and not just those in the U.S. and Europe.
A more global stress test that accounts for weak economic performance in Asia will only materially affect firms such as Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan and Citigroup given their expansive international operations. Citigroup is particularly exposed, according to Credit Suisse's Orenbuch.
Stress tests will also diverge slightly from currently macro-economic trends that are impacting bank earnings and balance sheets.
The Fed will assume a significant reversal in the recovering housing market and declines in commercial real estate prices. Commercial real estate exposures may be particularly harshly judged vs. previous stress tests, Orenbuch noted, impacting players like PNC, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo.