Congress Would Say 'Nein, Nein, Nein' To Cain's 9-9-9 Tax Plan
By Robert A. Green, CPA. Blog Notes About Politics From Robert Green.
Green's Forbes blog version. June 28, 2011
Financial-Transaction Tax Threat Update
Groups proposing to pass financial-transaction taxes will harm financial markets and hurt us all.
By Robert A. Green Green's Forbes blog version.
Update on July 5:
Good news, the EU-wide FTT proposal was not well received by many EU-member countries, the presidents of the EU and ECB and other important officials within the EU countries too.
Per Reuters on July 4, Finance Minister Jacek Rostowski of Poland, which now holds the European Union's rotating presidency, said in Brussels late on Monday, a tax on financial transactions must be global to work or else it risks being sidelined. ECB president Trichet, and his apparent successor Draghi both said the same thing. Draghi said “a financial transaction tax would not work unless it was introduced on a global level and did not necessarily address the right problems.” European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told the European Parliament that introducing such a measure in the EU would drive out investors — a “dreadful disadvantage” at a time when the bloc needed “as much activity as possible,” he argued. Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic echoed that criticism, extending it to parallel suggestions to tweak value added tax (VAT)-based national contributions to the EU budget.
Just one EU country is needed to block an EU-wide tax hike proposal like FTT. It sounds DOA.
Also last week, the Italian government rushed to include its own country FTT in its latest budget. I think it was trying to beat the EU to the punch in order to keep FTT revenues in Italy rather than fork it over to the EU. It was another FTT bombshell and again poorly received. Within a few days, it was dropped from the budget. A FTT appears to be failing for the incontrovertible reason that unless you apply FTT globally in a similar fashion, financial transactions can easily move to less taxed countries. Losing financial transactions means a taxing jurisdiction would lose desired FTT revenues, plus related businesses, jobs and income taxes that go with it. Any leading financial center of the world would be foolish to pass such a unilateral FTT.
As reported in the WSJ on June 28: “The European Commission is set to propose a Europe-wide tax on the financial sector this week (expected Wed.) as Brussels seeks to boost the revenues it can lay direct claim to as part of a multiyear European Union budget plan.” The EU is choosing between a FTT (financial-transaction tax) or a FAT (financial-activities tax). A FTT destroys trading businesses and financial centers overnight, so the UK is correct in saying it will block an EU-wide FTT (more on this below).
In the U.S., nurses and unions are marching on Wall Street and in other money centers around the world prescribing a FTT to heal our wounds. They’re demanding that Wall Street pay back Main Street for the housing meltdown by using FTT revenues to help those in most need. What nurses don’t realize is their prescription for FTT taxes violates the medical Hippocratic Oath, causing more damage than good.
A FTT may sound like a tiny tax percentage-wise, but it causes market makers to incur huge losses, putting them out of business overnight. For an example of what happens when you chase speculators away, look at the terrible housing markets. Since speculators left the marketplace, housing dropped like a stone with no recovery on the horizon, causing wide-scale losses from Main Street to Wall Street. If there aren’t speculators to “make a market,” buyers may wait for you to get more desperate and lower your price significantly. Without market makers, your pension plan and other investments will drop in value. You won’t collect much FTT as market makers will have disappeared, you’ll pay your share of the FTT, and your sales or purchase price will cost you a considerable amount. That’s a triple whammy.
Government should not be heavy handed with FTT
When governments become heavy handed with the economy and financial markets, it has more often than not led to distortions and problems. One recent example is the U.S.-led housing finance crisis and meltdown since 2008. In her best-selling book Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson — a leading business reporter for the New York Times — argues that the leading culprits of the housing crisis were the government service enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with sister GSEs and government regulators including HUD. Politicians had a laudable goal to spread the American dream of home ownership to the lower middle class, minorities and immigrants. Politicians and regulators lambasted banks for unforgiving lending standards and redlining policies against minorities. Government sought to solve this mortgage bottleneck with new relaxed lending standards and guarantees on the credits by GSEs.
We all know how it turned out. Fannie Mae lied about its finances and policies and paid politicians who supported the GSEs and raided the cookie jar for itself. The cruel irony was that Fannie hurt the very same lower/middle income people they promised to help. Fannie financially engineered "no doc," "no income," automated and ARM mortgages and encouraged and enabled fraudster mortgage brokers to sell predatory mortgages with exploding hidden interest rates designed to cause high interest payments for bond holders, foreclosures and bankruptcies by the duped home buyers. The American dream became the American nightmare.
Yes, banks played a conspiratorial role in the housing tragedy and they should be tarred and feathered over it too. Yet calls for Wall Street to pay for Main Street seem to deflect too much blame from Washington to Wall Street.
Selling the Fannie Mae scheme and promoting housing for the poor sounds very similar to the arguments being used to sell a new FTT. Rather than ACORN arguing for sub-prime mortgages, nurses and the AFL-CIO are pushing a FTT. Redlining was bad and so is austerity spending cuts that affect unions. But redlining was illegal and austerity measures are not. Public-sector unions are enjoying defined benefit plans, whereas the rest of lucky America who has a retirement plan has a defined contribution plan. Public-sector defined benefit plans can‘t generate the assumed 10 percent returns, so the deficiency is charged to taxpayers with real estate and income tax hikes. Rather than attack retail investors with a FTT, unions should restructure and go on the same footing as the rest of America. They are fat cats when it comes to fringe benefits.
The Robin Hood pro-FTT campaign
Other new proponents of a FTT include charities with “Robin Hood” tax campaigns, and global quasi-governmental and religious organizations like the UN, Catholic Church and various aide groups. These social-benefit organizations are in need of new means of funding, as they are suffering in the global recession partially attributable to the housing crisis as well. No doubt, the intended uses for charity are for good causes. But as we learned from the U.S. housing crisis, when politicians hold their hand out for the poor, the money often winds up in their own pockets. Their policies can have the opposite negative effect — like predatory loans exploding on unsuspecting homebuyers who preferred to rent in the first place. Those homebuyers’ lives are now destroyed.
But let’s set this argument aside and assume new taxes raised for global social causes will be well spent. The best way to fund global social causes is with charity and often there are tax incentives for charitable contributions. U.S. billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have launched a campaign asking other billionaires to pledge half their fortunes to charity. Families with more than a few hundred million dollars often have their own charitable foundations, and they direct money otherwise due to the U.S. and state tax authorities to the charities of their choice. Shouldn’t charity be voluntary and not a mandatory tax?
Some celebrities endorsing the Robin Hood campaign are hypocritical on taxes. On the one hand, they call for FTT tax hikes, yet some who can most afford to pay taxes moved to tax havens, avoiding taxes in their home countries. The Irish media just accused U2's Bono — a leader of the Robin Hood campaign — of such a tax move.
A FTT is unethical, unfair and unwise
A FTT would tax people multiple times. Traders and investors already pay taxes on capital gains, which is why a leading financial official of Japan said a FTT is unfair and he would not support it.
Many argue it’s wise to raise money from “where the money is” — on Wall Street. After all, the same bankers who played a big role in the housing mess — like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank — are back on the gravy train paying themselves outrageous bonuses again. If you peel the curtain back, you’ll see banks are still in a precarious position. Many banks are teetering on the Greek crisis — the latest version of financial meltdown — and they may need to be bailed out again or allowed to fail.
Even if you believe that Wall Street should pay the lion’s share here, it’s important to understand Wall Street will deflect a FTT. The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill passed in July 2010 calls on banks to divest proprietary trading for their own account. The U.S. administration is opposed to a FTT since it will hurt Americans rather than be a cost for the banks. Secretary Geithner said an FTT would fall on the backs of retail investors, who already suffered losses in the financial markets. These include pensioners whose pension funds are invested in the markets too.
A FTT will cause another flash crash and recession
Now let’s get to the crux of why a FTT is a dangerous idea that can further sink the economy and markets, cause a bigger and more extended recession, and lead to much less fund raising for charities too boot. Remember the “flash crash” from May 2010? While the world waited to hear the results of the EU and IMF’s negotiations to bail out Greece, the world’s stock market players grew extremely nervous over a Lehman-style financial meltdown.
Regulators and Congress conducted a serious study of this event to find the causes to prevent this from happening again. The study showed the flash crash was not a suspected “fat finger” (erroneous) trade, but rather the result of high-frequency traders (HFT) disappearing from the markets. I’m referring to the high-speed computerized trading programs who some allege wreak havoc in the markets and cause undue speculation. The reality is the liquidity-providing market makers are comprised of HFT traders. FTT enthusiasts including religious authorities argue they are doing “God’s work” to clean the house of evil speculators. Again, it’s the opposite of public perception and another example of half-cocked thinking and new regulations causing more harm than good.
On the day of the flash crash, many important HFT companies decided to walk away from the market action, reducing liquidity and essentially causing the crash. The biggest cause of any meltdown is loss of liquidity. To fix the flash crash problem, we need to help high-frequency traders respect their role as market makers. Why hit them with a new FTT that will surely put them out of business and dry up liquidity?
Now is not the time to pass a liquidity-killing tax in the financial markets. The same conditions that precipitated the flash crash are happening again just one year later. There is little hope for an immediate fix to these problems. Regulators have better tools to address excess speculation, like increasing margin requirements and capital and clearing derivatives on exchanges.
An FTT-induced market meltdown will lead to a severe recession and maybe depression in the developed world. That will kill off all sorts of taxes including income, property, sales and death taxes. Charitable contributions will also dry up and charities will face much greater needs from the poor.
Avoid a FTT by moving transactions offshore
We live in a small world when it comes to financial transactions. Traders can access exchanges throughout the world. You’ve heard the term “regulatory arbitrage”— when companies and people move wherever possible to find the weakest regulator and tax man. If the EU passes a FTT — which they may be inclined to do as their first EU federal tax — then clients will move financial transactions to the U.S., Switzerland and Asia. That’s why EU and G-20 finance officials continue to call for worldwide passage before any one country sticks its neck out first.
EU-centric officials want an EU tax to cement sovereignty
The EU is going through its biggest financial crisis since the inception of the Euro and is trying to keep its economic and political union together rather than allow it to fracture over the PIIGS crisis. The EU doesn’t have a federal tax system but some are calling for the introduction of one. After all, it’s hard to be a true common union without a common tax and defense force too. Many EU countries already pay the highest income taxes in the world and they don’t want another tax hike. Plus, they don’t want to give up even more sovereignty to Brussels (the next PIIGS). Northern EU countries like Germany, Finland and the Netherlands are already very upset over their taxpayers bailing out Greece and other PIIGS. Therefore, an EU income tax is out, but an EU financial-sector tax may be in. There’s no love for banks in the EU either. What’s left to tax in the EU — financial transactions, the financial services industry and /or aviation transportation?
Sweden and the UK have stated they will oppose a FTT, which is enough to block it since a new EU tax requires unanimous approval of all EU member countries. The German banks are expected to talk Merkel & Company out of a FTT too. German banks initially said FTT was unconstitutional. Sweden tried it before and it was a tragic error. The UK has a small stamp duty tax, but many traders and banks are exempt from it. UK banks argue a FTT will destroy their precious city – the Wall Street of Europe. They are right, as financial services are the last bastion of the UK economy.
A FAT may have merit
If you insist on making bankers pay something to Main Street, then consider a financial-activities tax (FAT), instead of a financial-transactions tax (FTT). It makes some limited sense to tax the income or liabilities of big banks, whereas it makes zero sense to attempt to tax financial transactions. Again, a FTT won’t be passed worldwide, whereas a FAT is passable in the EU and U.S., but only after a huge fight from banks and their lobbyists and if all political stars are aligned. The IMF is lukewarm on a FAT.
President Obama argued this well when he proposed a FAT in his budgets. The President said it’s harder for banks to move bankers and their balance sheets to Switzerland and Asia than it is for them to move financial transactions. President Obama proposes a “financial crisis responsibility fee” (FAT) which he vigorously claims is not a tax hike. His FAT is intended to recover $90 billion of TARP-related costs, which is odd, because the banks already paid back TARP. To date, Republicans have successfully blocked the President’s FAT “tax hike” proposal.
FTT proponents should change course
For all these good reasons about FTT being unwise, unrealistic and impossible, please tell the FTT-spin doctors to cool it. Shouldn’t nurses be more focused on solving the health-care spending and health-finance crisis? Shouldn’t unions be more focused on restructuring benefits and legacy costs for American manufacturers to be more competitive in global markets? Shouldn’t charities be reorganizing, downsizing overheads and reining in corruption? Shouldn’t the EU be focused on reducing bureaucratic spending, solving their PIIGS debt crisis, and saving their banks holding too much of that toxic-sovereign debt? FTT pushers profess an ignorance of how modern markets operate, and their retribution tax crusade will hurt us all.
October 1, 2010
U.S. forex traders have 270 extra days to trade with foreign banks
This week, we continued our series of podcasts on the new CFTC forex rules. We focus on how these new rules affect investment managers (CTA and CPO), introducing brokers (IB) and foreign banks.
Click here to listen to our Sept. 30, 2010 podcast (streaming mp3 file 78:00 length).
We answer a key question about whether a U.S. retail forex trader can trade on a non-RFED registered foreign platform after the Oct. 18 registration due date (90 days after Dodd-Frank Fin Reg enactment). Good news: The CFTC told us foreign financial institutions (banks) — who are not supposed to register as RFEDs with the CFTC but rather with bank regulators — are subject to the 360-day deadline in Dodd-Frank. That means U.S. retail forex traders can trade on non-registered foreign bank forex platforms until July 16, 2011.
Gaining an extra 270 days to trade on a non-registered foreign bank platform can help many retail forex traders who are not otherwise ready to begin trading under the new CFTC rules, which include 50:1 margin on majors, 20:1 margin on minors, the hedging rule and no FDIC, SPIC or segregation protection. Who knows: If Republicans take control of Congress in the November 2010 midterm elections, perhaps they will water down some excess in Dodd-Frank Fin Reg. Many forex traders think the CFTC's current posture for extraterritorial reach is a little excessive, and we agree.
For more details on the 360-day foreign bank deadline, see a blog update from the InvestmentLawGroup.com: Major Development: Foreign Banks Still Eligible Counterparties for Retail Forex Traders. They have been co-hosts on our series of podcasts covering these new CFTC forex trading rules.
Green also comments on efforts around the world to propose financial-transaction taxes and shares his latest thinking about whether or not the Bush tax cuts will be extended for the middle class only or for the upper class (job creators) too.
Green also discusses new arguments against repealing carried-interest tax breaks for investment managers. Prior efforts to repeal were successfully stopped by Republicans, yet the President and leaders in Congress are still pushing for this repeal. It could be part of a bill to extend Bush tax cuts too. Many executives of public and private companies receive a significant portion of their compensation in the form of stock options. In many cases, these executives benefit from lower long-term capital gains tax treatment from holding shares after exercising their options — part of which is earned ordinary income. Why single out investment managers and deny them this fair tax treatment, which represents the reality of their business arrangements?
Green shares his thinking on the continuing saga between Republicans and Democrats on ideology in connection with the budget, including tackling the third-rail of politics, social security. Green explains how the current system resembles a Ponzi scheme and private, conservatively invested accounts might be a better choice for younger people. August 6, 2009
Update on our new “Traders Association” (working title). Online and self-employed small business traders need their own trade association.
We discussed our Traders Association on today's (Aug. 6, 2009) conference call too. Click here to listen to the podcast http://www.greencompany.com/EducationCenter/InteractiveOnlineMeetings.shtml .
The long-established Security Traders Association (STA; www.securitytraders.org/) caters to the needs of its institutional-type members, including professional exchange-based traders, broker-dealers, banks, money-management firms and pension funds. Although online and self-employed small business traders share some interests in common with institutional traders – such as fighting off the financial-transaction tax – online traders have different priorities and special needs. For example, business traders have to worry about trader tax status (business tax treatment) and Section 475 MTM (tax loss insurance) accounting.
The time is ripe for joining our Traders Association. Washington is bringing about tax and regulatory changes at a fast and furious pace. These changes significantly affect traders and the markets. President Obama won a mandate for change and a new democratically controlled Washington is embracing the same agenda. It’s time to either be part of this change – represented in Washington by our Traders Association – or sit on the sidelines and perhaps fall under attack on new taxes, such as the dreaded potential “financial-transaction tax,” which if enacted could put online and self-employed traders out of business. Learn more about this potential new tax here http://www.greencompany.com/blog/index.php?postid=12 .
Our Traders Association will work with the STA and other securities industry organizations to improve and defend many types of tax breaks for traders and investors. We plan to defend and improve our unique tax breaks, such as trader tax status (business treatment), Section 475 MTM, 60/40 tax breaks, capital loss limitations, and more. We certainly need better trader tax status requirements laid out objectively, and relief from escalating IRS attacks on online traders.
Small business retail traders often are on their own (trading from a home office) and face challenges in obtaining mortgage loans and insurance coverage for their families. Institutional traders often receive rich compensation packages including a fixed base salary – reported on W-2 tax statements, which lenders want to see for income verification purposes – plus incentive bonuses based on trading profits. Institutional traders also receive generous employee benefits including health, life and disability insurance policies. Online and self-employed business traders cannot easily document their fluctuating income and often have a hard time obtaining a mortgage and insurance policies. The media has reported that many self-employed businesses can’t obtain home mortgages because a lender isn’t comfortable with the risks of a new small business. Traders often don’t have fixed base salaries in connection with their trading businesses, although this can be arranged with a trading entity and payroll. Some lenders may see through that and others may think it’s just what they need to satisfy their lending requirements.
Our Traders Association can help traders get loans and insurance coverage. We plan to organize a Traders Business Alliance, a business-to-business network of participating lenders, mortgage brokers, insurance companies, equipment and service providers. We envision crafting business standards for traders, instituting an association accreditation program (where you can earn “gold” or other status levels), standardizing and providing support to the application process, and forging special relationships with interested vendors. Our Traders Association can arrange discounts on goods and services using our great numbers of customers too.
Our Traders Association will standardize trading business practices and reporting to fit the needs of our lenders, insurance companies and other vendors. Our standard business practices will include risk management, due diligence, financing and budgeting, business plans, management techniques, and much more. We will offer standardized reporting and application letters to use with each type of vendor. We will have a “members only” content area for tips on working with our different vendors and special rules by state and otherwise.
The Traders Association and Advocacy plans to provide representation for online and small business traders to the media, government officials and the public. Online and business traders are highly educated and have advanced computing skills. They trade with discipline and risk management, procure and develop sophisticated tools and purchase advanced trading and data systems just like institutional traders. The entire trading industry has recently been denigrated by elements in Washington and in the media. As a pretext to new regulations and tax increases, traders everywhere are being castigated as speculators causing spikes in energy prices and company-killing short-sellers. These erroneous and unwarranted attacks show the lack of knowledge of their detractors. It’s our mission to project and promote the positive manner in which traders enrich their lives and benefit industry and society.
A trade association can be defined as an organization founded and funded by businesses of a specific industry, with the main goal being standardization. A trade association engages in public relations activities such as advertising, education, political donations, lobbying, and organizing events for charity (we envision doing all of these activities). Many are non-profit organizations governed by bylaws and a board of directors.
It’s unfortunate that current health-insurance law doesn’t allow association plans. However, Congress and the Obama administration are rewriting health-insurance laws. Hopefully, association plan choices will be one of the new options too. Currently, health-insurance plans are unique to each state and can’t be sold across state lines. Republicans suggest allowing national plans, something our Traders Association is in favor of as well, provided it includes an association plan option. Until we can tackle health insurance changes in Washington and on state levels, our Traders Association will offer resources and content on how to obtain health insurance in your home state. Options include applying for an individual plan, electing temporary Cobra from your ex-employer, or forming an entity and establishing a group plan on the entity (which may cost more but covers pre-existing conditions).
We are founding our Traders Association now and we need your help in creating a name and mission statement, attracting members, interns, and a board of directors, and promoting our new association.
If you’re interested in learning more, joining our Traders Association, being on its board, being a member of our Traders Business Alliance, or helping us in any way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Visit our Traders Association section to learn more. http://www.greencompany.com/Association/index.shtml .
August 10, 2009 update: Green's social tax article http://www.greencompany.com/Association/AssociationSocialTax.shtml pre-dated President Obama's campaigns to fix the environment, health care and other social needs. It's still a useful idea. Green's social tax idea also pre-dated the Blue Dog Democrats’ pay-go concept to raise revenue to pay for social spending. Raising revenue from polluters to pay for environmental cleanup is an example of pay go. This is similar to the 2009 Congressional cap-and-trade plan, with one big exception: The "trade" part allows companies to avoid personal responsibility by buying their way out.
Pay go is used in universal health care tax proposals too. One tax proposal, which did not gain traction, was for a "fat tax" or "soda tax" -- a cigarette-type excise (sales) tax charged to customers for buying fat-inducing products. The social tax concept would tax both customers and the manufacturers/sellers of those products (with a surcharge in income tax rates). Many vendors would probably pass on this higher tax to their customers. A fat or soda tax was deemed regressive in nature (falling on the middle-class and poor) and it was probably also defeated by powerful food and beverage special interest groups. That's a shame. Everyone decries America for spending the most per-capita on health costs, which may be in direct correlation to America also having the most obese population in the world. Medical professionals have drawn a direct correlation between obesity and health care costs.
One health care tax proposal argued for using a "financial-transaction tax" -- see our extensive blog coverage of this dreaded tax http://www.greencompany.com/blog/index.php?postid=15 -- to help pay for the higher costs of universal health care coverage. This tax proposal also has not gained traction to date, perhaps because a "trading tax" has nothing to do with contributing to the health-care mess. Plus, the sponsors’ main argument is that the tax would be used to pay for the TARP bail out or the recovery of major banks. TARP repayment has begun and is expected to be paid back in full, so this argument has little merit. Green's article attacking the financial-transaction tax argues that traders had nothing to do with the financial market meltdown -- it was caused by a real estate meltdown with overzealous mortgage brokers, bankers, and investment banks, and irresponsible home buyers -- so why charge traders for the bank bailout costs? Again, the idea behind a social tax is that true culprits should be charged for the social costs.
President Obama and the Democratic Congress have many social spending initiatives -- stimulus, health care, education, and the environment. They have targeted the upper-income and global corporation taxpayers as the people and entities that should pay higher taxes to cover these added social costs. Currently, Congress (with support of the President) proposes a 5-percent surcharge on income tax rates of the upper income. Current upper-income marginal individual tax rates max out at 35 percent. These rates will rise to 39.6 percent when the Bush Administration tax cuts expire in 2011. The new upper-income highest-marginal tax rate becomes 45 percent when the 5-percent tax surcharge (proposed for health care and/or other initiatives) is added. This is 10 percent more than it is now (an increase of 29 percent – as 10 percent divided by 35 percent). When state income tax rates and surcharges are added, in many large states such as California and New York the combined highest-marginal tax rate is over 55 percent. Other payroll and health insurance related assessments may take the true tax rate to well over 60 percent. Again, why tax non-offenders more? Why not use taxation responsibly to hold people and companies accountable for their social costs? President Obama has also advocated personal responsibility.
Those who consume fatty foods and become obese cause much greater health care costs to the community and should pay a higher social tax (“fat tax”). This will encourage people to eat healthier. Everyone should be accountable for his or her actions regardless of class. Access to good, quality foods in poorer neighborhoods should be provided as a part of our nation’s health care coverage. Again, why tax a physician more, force him to make less money in treating patients (part of current universal health care proposals) and relegate physicians to middle class status too? (Green writes about this physician in his article on social tax.)
It's all tied together on the tax-front. Personal responsibility, social initiatives to improve the lives of all, and using government fiscal incentives and rules to help guide good community and personal behavior. Government doesn't have to be the vendor of first resort (which is not it's forte).
Trading is a last-resort business opportunity for many Americans, while manufacturing and service jobs move to lower-cost emerging markets. Trading provides liquidity to society and financial-related income is a backbone of America. Goldman Sachs was just admired (and criticized) for making over $10 billion recently and paying back TARP and large bonuses. The great majority of Goldman's income came from trading activities and governments will collect half of those bonus checks in taxes. Trading is vital to the U.S. Why tax trading to death and make trader tax status and Section 475 MTM so hard for traders to achieve? Trading doesn’t pollute the environment or make Americans unhealthy or obese. Trading rewards the best educated and tech savvy and it's extremely helpful to the displaced, young, at-home parents and retirees. Traders should be rewarded and thanked, not demonized and taxed out of business. Our country doesn’t need more people on the unemployment lines. Trading has been a part of our society for centuries, and now the rest of the world is embracing it as well. Speculation, entrepreneurship, risk and reward, and financial markets are as much a part of America's history and success as the Constitution itself. Don't mess with our investments -- even if they are day investments with more risk management!