I’m as surprised as anyone to find myself citing Mark Cuban’s blog for the second time this week, but he published a post this morning that hits upon something that’s long bothered me. Our stock markets have come to resemble casinos more than what it seems they should be: a means of bringing capital to good businesses.
The high frequency trading that’s been going on – like the automated computer transactions designed to exploit tiny, short-lived fluctuations in the market and which caused that crash in May 2010 – make it plain how much Wall Street is a just a big game, set up to feed the financial industry itself rather than the businesses that make tangible goods or services.
Anyway, Cuban discusses these matters more expertly than I can, and I like his proposal. He compares financial traders to computer hackers:
My 2 cents is that it is important for this country to push Wall Street back to the business of creating capital for business. Â Whether its through a use of taxes on trades(hit every trade on a stock held less than 1 hour with a 10c tax and all these problems go away), or changing the capital gains tax structure so that there is no capital gains tax on any shares of stock (private or public company) held for 1 year or more, and no tax on dividends paid to shareholders who have held stock in the company for more than 5 years. Â However we need to do it, we need to get the smart money on Wall Street back to thinking about ways to use their capital to help start and grow companies. That is what will create jobs. That is where we will find the next big thing that will accelerate the world economy. Â It won’t come from traders trying to hack the financial system for a few pennies per trade.