Citi Trading Below Book

Includes: BAC, C
by: Felix Salmon

Citigroup (NYSE:C) stock fell below book value Tuesday - which is either despite or because of a long series of write-downs which served to lower that very value. Citi's market capitalization is now $115 billion, which compares to, say, $177 billion for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). More to the point, Citigroup has just two thirds of the value of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and only 87% of the value of JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). I'm not saying it's a buy at these levels, but I am having difficulty seeing a scenario where Bank of America maintains that kind of lead over the long term.