Talk of Maryland reviving an expired tax on people making $1 million or more has stirred quite a frenzy. It comes as the state faces criticism for high taxes, an exodus of millionaires, and one of the nation's highest rankings when it comes to jobs lost in recent months. Regardless of whether those dots do or don't connect, the millionaires' tax concept has struck a vein.
We put it to a poll on Yahoo! Finance on Friday (Add your vote on the Y! Finance homepage), and the results show conflicting sentiments. We asked: "Should people making more than a million dollars a year be subject to extra taxes?" So far 55% of responding readers say no, and 45% say yes. (Thoughts? Add them in our comment section below.)
What else? Readers weighed in this week on how the turmoil in Europe is affecting their investing decisions, how important the unemployment rate is to the presidential race, whether banks should be broken up, and what's to come for Facebook stock.
Investors Do Not 'Like' Facebook Shares
Shares of Facebook (FB) were hammered after Zynga's (ZNGA) earnings Wednesday, and the selling was only re-energized, bringing the stock to an all-time low, after it reported its own earnings on Thursday after the close.
We asked: "Where will Facebook's stock be one year after listing?" Most respondents weren't optimistic, with 85% saying below the IPO price. Another 5% said it will be at the IPO price of $38, and the remaining 10% said they believe the stock will be above the level of the initial public offering.
Weill: Break Up the Banks. Wall Street: Come again?
Wall Street veteran Sandy Weill said on CNBC this week that banks should be broken up to separate investment from commercial banking. This is stunning and significant, as Breakout's Jeff Macke explained, because:
"Sandy Weill essentially created the idea of jamming together investment banks and those providing retail and commercial banking services when he merged his Travelers Group (TRV) with Citicorp [now Citigroup (C) since 1998]. Since such a merger was forbidden by the Glass-Steagall Act, Mr. Weill persuaded then-Secretary of Treasury Bob Rubin to help push through legislation repealing the Depression-era regulations."
We asked: "Do you agree banks should be broken up to separate investment and commercial banking?" Readers' response? Yes for 85%, and no for 15%.
Will Swing State Economics Swing the Election?
Next Friday the government will release the most anticipated monthly economic data, the jobs report, this time for July. The U.S. economy added just 80,000 jobs in June, well below expectations. It's a hot-button issue, and it's easy to see how the slowing of jobs growth is bad for President Obama's campaign. On the other hand, data this week showed employment in swing states is a bit better.
In seven of 12 so-called swing states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin -- the unemployment rate is below the June national average of 8.2 percent, The Washington Post pointed out. In New Hampshire, Iowa and Virginia, the unemployment rates were below 6 percent in June.
How much voters in swing states -- where a significant chunk of campaign time and money are spent -- factor local economics into their vote for president, is just one more thing that's up for debate.
We asked: Do you think President Obama should be re-elected if unemployment stays above the 8% mark? Readers responded: No (69%), Yes (31%).
Euro Panic Plaguing Investors?
Stocks started the week on a downward bend on worries that Spain may be in the short line for a bailout, with Italy meandering in the vicinity as well. Greece, for its part, faces a shortfall of 30 billion euros in its bailout plan, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing officials familiar with the situation.
We asked: As investors react to more negative news from Europe, what are you doing with your money? Here's how readers responded: Holding tight (61%); Buying stocks (20%); Selling stocks (10%); Buying bonds or CDs (5%); Buying Commodities (4%).