Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Shoe on the Other (Wrong) Foot

Lots of Main Street folks and populist media and government types have had a lot to say about the "bailout" of Wall Street. A new bill, H.R. 1068, was introduced February 13 has put the check for the TARP funds in a glossy leather folder and is about to hand it to Wall Street.

This is one stupid piece of legislation. The intent is to levy a 0.25% transfer tax on all purchases and sales of securities, greatly increasing the cost of trading.

Who is going to bear that cost? For investor in mutual funds and pension plans, the investors themselves. The result will be lower returns, in lots of cases significantly lower for most investors, and many business models will not work. 0.25% per year can be the difference between success and failure in professional investing. In a high-turnover niche of the market, forget it.

The Security Traders Association is lobbying for support against, over here.

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