Tags: Whitney | bullish | US | stocks

Meredith Whitney: 'You Have to Be Bullish on US Equities' Amid Crisis in Cyprus

Monday, 18 Mar 2013 06:55 PM

By Dan Weil

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The boiling financial turmoil in Cyprus is bullish for U.S. equity prices, says banking analyst Meredith Whitney. Indeed, the crisis has helped turn her turn wildly positive toward Wall Street.

The Cyprus saga stems from the European Union’s demand that the country tax bank deposits to pay part of the cost of a bailout

“This further strengthens the U.S. as a desirable, safe place to put your money,” Whitney tells CNBC. “You have to be bullish on U.S. equities here, because you have so much money coming into the U.S. looking for something safe and sound."

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

U.S. stocks fell Monday, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dipping 0.6 percent to 1,552. But Whitney doesn’t think that will last.

Asked whether she would buy stocks now, Whitney responded, "Without a doubt, I have not been this constructive, this bullish on the U.S., on equities, in my career."

Whitney was famous for her negative calls on U.S. money-center banks before the financial crisis of 2008-09. But now she’s enthusiastic about Bank of America and Discover Financial Services.

In the case of BofA, which closed at $12.56 Monday, Whitney thinks it can reach $15 in the “short term” and $20 in the next 18 months, helped by cost cuts and operating leverage.

Others don’t share Whitney’s bullishness on stocks, anticipating at least a short-term correction.

“Nothing goes straight up or straight down forever,” David Kotok, chief investment officer of Cumberland Advisors, wrote in a commentary obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Editor’s Note: Put the World’s Top Financial Minds to Work for You

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