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Author: TMFGebinr Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Supernova Phoenix 1
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Subject: Re: This is downright scary Date: 8/9/2012 8:41 AM
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Would you also be in favor of a similar tax on options trading?

Hi blesto,

The point of such a tax, of course, would to disincentivize the rapid in-and-out trading for a few pennies profit that the HFT algorithms are being used for. A buck might be too small or too large. Maybe 2 - 5 cents per share traded (that would wipe out any profit from that activity). Options, too, because if shares were taxed and options weren't, then the people running the algorithms would just switch and make that market bounce around like a rubber ball.

When you see the day's trading price going up and down like a sine wave, as we've spotted several times recently, that's computers trading in and out to make a profit. Maybe they're trading among themselves, but a lot of it is trading with real people, so it's transferring wealth from people, possibly retail investors, to the trading firms and big banks.

I believe the British have a transaction tax of a few cents per share. Hasn't broken their market any.

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