The latest Democratic White House hopeful to propose such a levy is Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor would place a 0.1% tax on all stock and bond sales, as well as on payments on derivatives contracts. He would phase the tax in starting at 0.02%.
An outline of Mr. Bloomberg’s financial reform agenda said a financial transaction tax could defray the costs of market regulation, fund needed social spending and “help address inequality.” It also asserted that the increasing speed of trading “isn’t always socially beneficial.”
Taxing high-frequency traders is OK with George Reilly, founder of Safe Harbor Financial Advisors. He said the levy wouldn’t burden his clients, who are encouraged to use a passive investment plan allocated mostly to low-cost index funds.
“To the extent a financial transaction tax would discourage active trading and market-timing activities and get folks in a more strategic investment planning mode, I think it can be beneficial,” Mr. Reilly said.
.“We do need to generate more revenue for essential government benefits and services, and if some of that can come from folks who want to play the market, that’s fine with me.”