FB - Facebook, Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
184.19
+4.16 (+2.31%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous Close180.03
Open182.15
Bid184.50 x 800
Ask184.75 x 1800
Day's Range182.14 - 186.49
52 Week Range123.02 - 208.66
Volume14,998,754
Avg. Volume14,079,231
Market Cap525.485B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.28
PE Ratio (TTM)31.15
EPS (TTM)5.91
Earnings DateOct. 30, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend DateN/A
1y Target Est235.70
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Facebook's Libra Probably Won't Happen, Analyst Pachter Says
    Bloomberg

    Facebook's Libra Probably Won't Happen, Analyst Pachter Says

    Oct.11 -- Michael Pachter, Wedbush analyst, explains why he doesn't think Facebook Inc. will be able to launch its Libra cryptocurrency. He speaks with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology."

  • Cambridge Analytica whistleblower slams Facebook for 'stalker' practices
    Yahoo Finance

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower slams Facebook for 'stalker' practices

    Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie blasted Facebook’s continued influence after its widely publicized data scandal,

  • Buttigieg: 'There's no question there's anti-competitive behavior' in Big Tech
    Yahoo Finance

    Buttigieg: 'There's no question there's anti-competitive behavior' in Big Tech

    Democratic presidential candidate noted the anti-competitive behavior among Big Tech.

  • Elizabeth Warren trolls Facebook with 'false' Zuckerberg ad
    The Guardian

    Elizabeth Warren trolls Facebook with 'false' Zuckerberg ad

    Ad claims CEO backs Trump – then admits it’s not true – after company admits letting politicians make false statements. Facebook has been taking heat all week for its decision to allow politicians to make false statements in paid advertisements. Now the Democratic senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is taking the fight to the social media company’s own turf by taking out a series of Facebook ads that make false statements about Facebook and its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg. “Breaking news: Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook just endorsed Donald Trump for re-election,” the ads read, above a photograph of a recent Oval Office meeting between the billionaire tech executive and the president. The statement isn’t true, but as the Facebook executive Nick Clegg revealed late last month, the company’s policies banning false statements from paid advertisements do not apply to politicians. The exemption has drawn particular attention due to Facebook’s decision to allow Trump to run an ad that was rejected by CNN for promoting a “demonstrably false” narrative about Joe Biden. Warren’s ad does correct the record – neither Facebook nor Zuckerberg has endorsed Trump – but goes on to argue her point: that “Facebook already helped elect Donald Trump once” and that “It’s time to hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable”. Warren has advocated for antitrust action against major tech companies and has called for Facebook to be broken up into multiple smaller companies. Last week, leaked transcripts of a July meeting at Facebook revealed that Zuckerberg had promised to “go to the mat” and “fight” if Warren was elected and pursued her plan to break the company up. He also described her antitrust proposal as an “existential” threat and said it would “suck for us”. Warren appears to relish the fight with Facebook. She shot back: “What would really ‘suck’ is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.” A Facebook spokesperson responded to the new ads to CNN, which first reported on them, saying: “If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech.”

  • Facebook's Libra Loses Mastercard, Visa in Cascade of Exits
    Bloomberg

    Facebook's Libra Loses Mastercard, Visa in Cascade of Exits

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s effort to create a cryptocurrency was dealt a blow on Friday after several key partners, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., EBay Inc., Stripe Inc. and Mercado Pago, abandoned the project. The defections followed fierce criticism from global regulators and lawmakers, and have prompted some industry-watchers to question whether the Libra program can survive.The news comes days before the Libra Association, the group that will oversee the digital currency, prepares to convene its members and ask them to sign a charter agreement. The meeting is slated to take place on Monday in Geneva. A Libra Association spokeswoman said on Friday that the gathering will proceed as planned, and that it would announce the first list of official partners once a formal charter is signed.In a statement, the spokeswoman said the group was "focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association" as it worked to create "a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."When Facebook launched plans for Libra in June, a critical part of its pitch was that major players in the payments and tech industry were supporting it. The cryptocurrency would be run out of Geneva by the organizations that comprised the Libra Association, not solely by Facebook. But now that that alliance appears to be eroding, the project’s future is uncertain."I don’t think Facebook can do this by itself," said Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities told Bloomberg TV. "Short of a big bank stepping in like JPMorgan, I don’t think this could ever happen."In a tweet on Friday, David Marcus, the Facebook executive spearheading the effort, said that the exit of six partners would not derail the effort. "I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update," he wrote. "Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when this much pressure builds up."Whether or not Libra implodes, the exits highlight the extreme challenges that lie ahead for the project, which if successful could have a sweeping impact on the global financial system. "It may very well fail completely," said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. Even if it survives, progress will take much longer and "it’s likely to fall into some level of obscurity," she added.Facebook has faced fierce backlash since the company announced plans for Libra. Politicians and regulators around the world have called on Facebook to halt its progress, and some have suggested Libra could be used for illegal money laundering or trafficking schemes.Despite the scrutiny from public officials and the exodus of partners, Facebook remains committed to Libra, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Some people inside the company think the defections are partly driven by established payments providers worrying about a new entrant encroaching on their turf, the person said.In the months since its announcement, Facebook has frequently found itself in the spotlight over the cryptocurrency. Marcus went to Washington in July to testify before Congress about Facebook’s plans. Later this month, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee to answer even more questions about Libra.Earlier this week, two U.S. senators cautioned Visa, Mastercard and Stripe to reconsider their involvement in the project. Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Brian Schatz of Hawaii said that Libra poses a risk to not only the financial system, but the payments companies’ broader business. "We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding," they said a letter to the companies.Mastercard said in a statement that it will "remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world," adding, "We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort." Visa said the company would also continue to evaluate whether to join in Libra in the future, and that the company’s "ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations."In a statement on Friday, EBay expressed its support for the project, but said it would focus on rolling out its own payments products. “We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” an EBay spokesman wrote in the emailed statement. “At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay’s managed payments experience for our customers."Payments giant Stripe, one of the most high-profile startups to sign onto the project, signaled it remained open to working on it in the future. “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential,” said a company spokesperson. “We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”The Libra Association is composed of about two dozen organizations, including Facebook. A Lyft Inc. spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that the ride-hailing company remains a member. Other companies that have not signaled plans to leave include Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify Technology S.A., Coinbase Inc. and telecom providers Iliad SA and Vodafone Group Plc. PayPal Holdings Inc. dropped out last week. (Updates with David Marcus comment in 6th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Candy Cheng, Lizette Chapman, Spencer Soper and Lydia Beyoud.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at kwagner71@bloomberg.net;Julie Verhage in New York at jverhage2@bloomberg.net;Jenny Surane in New York at jsurane4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMey, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google’s $2.6 Billion Looker Deal Said to Get Closer DOJ Review
    Bloomberg

    Google’s $2.6 Billion Looker Deal Said to Get Closer DOJ Review

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers have started an in-depth review of Google’s $2.6 billion planned acquisition of a data analytics company, a further sign of greater scrutiny on big technology companies, according to people familiar with the situation.The antitrust division of the Justice Department is seeking more information from Google and Looker Data Sciences Inc. related to the deal to determine whether the tie-up harms competition, said one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private matters.Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced June 6 it planned to buy Looker for its cloud unit, which lags far behind Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. with just 4% of the cloud-computing infrastructure market as of 2018, according to the most-recent figures from analyst Gartner Inc.The deal was expected to receive added regulatory scrutiny. The in-depth Justice Department review, known as a “second request,” comes as antitrust authorities start historic probes of Google and other large tech companies. One issue for enforcers is whether tech giants have used acquisitions of smaller firms to thwart rivals and cement their dominance. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which also enforces antitrust laws, is investigating whether Facebook Inc.’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp were anti-competitive.Representatives from Google, Looker and the Justice Department declined to comment.The Justice Department and a coalition of attorneys general made up of most U.S. states in the country have opened antitrust cases against Google. Those probes are mostly focused on the company’s dominant search and advertising businesses.Looker, closely held and based in Santa Cruz, California, provides tools that lets companies analyze their data stored in the cloud, a service that competes with offerings from Amazon and Microsoft. When Google announced the deal, its cloud chief, Thomas Kurian, said the company would continue to let Looker customers use other cloud providers. Google doesn’t share cloud sales.Google once spent lavishly on companies, dropping billions on device makers Motorola and Nest, as well as experimental tech like satellites and robots. More recently, the company’s acquisitions have mostly been relatively small deals in the cloud sector.It’s common for antitrust authorities to open in-depth investigations for sizable mergers, but more recently have faced criticism for allowing large tech companies to buy startups as a way to gain footholds in new markets. That charge has been aimed at Google after its takeovers of Waze, DoubleClick and YouTube. The Justice Department in July announced a broad antitrust review of the big internet platforms in search, social media and online retail.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net;Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.net;David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, ;Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: Time to Buy FB Stock?
    Zacks

    Facebook Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: Time to Buy FB Stock?

    Let's take a look at what investors need to know about Facebook and some of its Q3 estimates to help us determine if FB stock might be worth buying before the social media company reports its Q3 2019 earnings results...

  • Baystreet

    TSX Lets Go of Gains to End Week

    It looked as though markets in Toronto couldn’t stand prosperity, handing over what they’d earned by ...

  • Facebook's Libra currency abandoned by major financial companies
    Reuters

    Facebook's Libra currency abandoned by major financial companies

    The two companies announced they would leave the association Friday afternoon, as did EBay Inc , Stripe Inc. and Latin American payments company Mercado Pago. The latest exodus leaves the Libra Association without any remaining major payments companies as members, meaning it can no longer count on a global player to help consumers turn their currency into Libra and facilitate transactions.

  • Facebook Rises 3%
    Investing.com

    Facebook Rises 3%

    Investing.com - Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose by 3.03% to trade at $185.48 by 10:37 (14:37 GMT) on Friday on the NASDAQ exchange.

  • Firing of Chinese Facebook Engineer Ignites Fury Back Home
    Bloomberg

    Firing of Chinese Facebook Engineer Ignites Fury Back Home

    (Bloomberg) -- The firing of a Chinese Facebook Inc. coder who accused the social media giant of mistreating foreign employees has provoked an outpouring of outrage on domestic social media.Software engineer Yi Yin struck a chord when he posted on WeChat that he was forced out for “lack of judgment.” The 37-year-old said he got an emailed warning the same day he joined a memorial at Facebook’s Menlo Park campus for a colleague, also from China, who killed himself by jumping from the fourth floor of a company building last month.The Sept. 26 vigil had morphed into a demonstration over alleged discrimination against Facebook’s Chinese employees. Yin told Bloomberg News that HR sent the email and then called him into a meeting the day after, during which he was told to stop speaking publicly about the death because of privacy concerns.Yin got a second and “final warning” just a few days later, which he said didn’t cite any breaches of company rules or other specific reasons. He was dismissed Oct. 7. Facebook spokeswoman Pamela Austin confirmed Yin had been dismissed but denied his participation in the rally was the cause. She declined to comment on the details Yin described. Another company representative, Charlene Chian, said Facebook doesn’t comment on the specifics of personnel issues.The engineer went on social media to describe his experience, which was widely covered by Chinese media at a time tensions with the U.S. are running high and many feel Washington is trying to contain China’s ascendancy. His LinkedIn post about the firing has garnered more than 7,000 likes, with many commenting to offer him a new job.A discussion thread about his dismissal on Chinese Q&A site Zhihu has been viewed over 1.6 million times, after his tale initially spread across WeChat, which has a billion-plus users.“Facebook expects all of our employees to treat one another with respect, particularly when dealing with sensitive issues,” Facebook’s Austin said via email. “We won’t hesitate to take action to make sure all of our people feel safe and comfortable at work.”Read more: Facebook Worker Dies After Jumping From Headquarters BuildingA widely circulated video showed dozens of black-clad Chinese people gathered at Facebook’s famous “Like” sign at 1 Hacker Way during last month’s memorial for the deceased, a 38-year-old software engineer. The mourners placed flowers under the billboard and chanted slogans including “We deserve the truth” and “Chinese lives matter.” Bloomberg couldn’t verify the authenticity of the video and Austin declined to comment.But co-organizer David Jin, co-founder of Santa Clara-based cybersecurity startup Deeper Network, told Bloomberg via a Telegram message that about 400 people attended, including non-employees in the Bay Area. Jin, Yin and Austin all appeared in the video published by a Chinese online news outlet, though Yin said he was the only Facebook employee wearing a company badge.“Tech companies in Silicon Valley are almost hitting their ceilings so they have the pressure to cut jobs and increase efficiency,” Yin, who joined Facebook in July, said in a phone interview. “Chinese people usually don’t make trouble, giving the impression that we are weak and easy to pick on.”Since the suicide, current and former Facebook employees have posted online about alleged bullying of international workers at the company. The Sept. 26 rally took place days after Patrick Shyu, who claimed to be a former programmer with Facebook and Google, said in a YouTube video that Chen suffered an unfair review and was thereby blocked from a team transfer.That could potentially have hampered the prospect for renewing his H-1B work visa, forcing him to return to China, Shyu said, citing anonymous postings on Facebook’s internal messaging board. Shyu, who has said online that he too was fired from Facebook, didn’t respond to a request for comment via a Twitter message and Austin declined to comment about his allegations.\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner and Vlad Savov.To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Peter ElstromFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Coca-Cola Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: Is KO Stock Due for a Selloff?
    Zacks

    Coca-Cola Q3 2019 Earnings Preview: Is KO Stock Due for a Selloff?

    With Q3 2019 earnings season set to heat up when the big banks start to report on Tuesday, October 15, it's time to see what investors should expect from Coca-Cola...

  • 'Overthinking is the death of Instagram' – The secrets of an effective social campaign, according to Instagram director
    Yahoo Finance

    'Overthinking is the death of Instagram' – The secrets of an effective social campaign, according to Instagram director

    On Instagram, you’re just one in a billion – and vying for attention in that kind of crowd is no easy task.

  • A case for keeping Facebook's companies together: 'Businesses succeed as well,' Facebook exec says
    Yahoo Finance

    A case for keeping Facebook's companies together: 'Businesses succeed as well,' Facebook exec says

    There’s been no shortage of Big Tech scrutiny this year and debate over whether some of Silicon Valley’s largest players should be broken up.

  • Merck CEO on anti-vaccine movement: 'We have to counter some misinformation'
    Yahoo Finance

    Merck CEO on anti-vaccine movement: 'We have to counter some misinformation'

    Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier spoke about the issues that come with vaccine misinformation.

  • Facebook Privacy Fines in Turkey Top $0.5 Million in 2019
    Market Realist

    Facebook Privacy Fines in Turkey Top $0.5 Million in 2019

    Facebook’s (FB) privacy problems continue to attract fines. Last week, Turkey hit the company with a fine of 1.6 million Turkish lira ($282,000).

  • Amazon’s Jay Carney Criticizes the Trump Administration
    Market Realist

    Amazon’s Jay Carney Criticizes the Trump Administration

    Top Amazon executive Jay Carney has criticized President Donald Trump and his administration on several issues related to patriotism and honesty.

  • Nick Clegg: Why Facebook Critics Should Think Twice
    Market Realist

    Nick Clegg: Why Facebook Critics Should Think Twice

    Nick Clegg, Facebook’s global spokesman, doesn't think that some critics are being fair. He stated that Facebook can't be the Internet policeman.

  • Pro Tip: Tech Companies Should Stop Ogling Customers' Home Videos
    Bloomberg

    Pro Tip: Tech Companies Should Stop Ogling Customers' Home Videos

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The watchwords these days for internet companies are transparency and control. Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google and other companies want to make it more clear — in theory — what information they’re vacuuming up. And in theory, they’re letting people limit what data is collected or how the companies harness that information to target ads or improve their computerized systems.This is all great, in theory. In practice, of course, transparency and control can be less than they seem. And even in principle, it sometimes misses the point. What if, in addition to transparency and control, internet companies deploy this sophisticated technology called “common sense” when they’re building and spreading their products?For example, when Facebook got caught using phone numbers that people entered for account security to target ads, the company (belatedly) said it should have told users what it was doing.“We’ll either have more disclosures and be very transparent about it, or we will no longer utilize it for ads,” Facebook executive Carolyn Everson told an interviewer last year. Twitter on Tuesday also disclosed it may have targeted ads based on the information people entered to keep their accounts secure. Twitter said this was an error, although the company didn’t say how long this practice had gone on.For Facebook, the choice Everson sketched out was moot in the end. As part of a recent Federal Trade Commission settlement of an investigation into user privacy violations, Facebook committed to not using account-safeguard information for advertising. The broader point lives on. Was the problem that Facebook (and Twitter) didn’t disclose this activity? Yes. The other problem is that the companies were using personal information in ways that people should not and could not reasonably expect.Most people wouldn’t think that entering a phone number into their account for security purposes might be used for advertising. That’s a good signal that companies shouldn’t do it in the first place.Ditto for the recent reporting about Facebook and other companies having humans transcribe text from users’ audio snippets. Yes, it was wrong that Facebook didn’t tell people who turned on an audio transcription feature in Messenger that humans might be listening to portions of their chats.Dave Limp, the Amazon.com Inc. executive overseeing Alexa-powered devices, told tech news publication GeekWire on Wednesday that he wishes his company had been more transparent about the human reviewers of Alexa audio recordings. Hours later, Bloomberg News reported that Amazon workers review select video clips captured by the company’s Cloud Cam home security cameras.Amazon does not explicitly tell people who own a Cloud Cam that humans are reviewing their video snippets to improve the device’s motion-detection software. Amazon said the video clips are provided voluntarily, but two sources told Bloomberg that the video review teams have picked up private activity of homeowners, including rare instances of people having sex. Limp said at the GeekWire conference that Amazon considered allowing human review of audio clips from Alexa-powered devices only if the device owners explicitly agreed to it. Ultimately, he said, Amazon decided that human review is essential to improve the Alexa technology and said Amazon wants to use people’s data to improve technology for the company’s customers. Amazon, in short, has unilaterally decided that what’s best for people is to be poorly informed guinea pigs to improve an Amazon technology. And regardless of what Facebook, Amazon, Twitter or other companies do or don’t disclose in the fine print, do people using audio transcription, motion detection video cameras and voice-activated assistants like Alexa and Apple Inc.’s Siri expect humans to listen to snippets of their conversations or watch clips of video filmed inside their homes? Of course not.People might intuitively understand their voice recordings are stowed in a company database somewhere, but common sense should tell those companies not to do things people would not anticipate.Companies shouldn’t just rely on disclosure or measures of control as a cure-all for aggressive use of people’s personal information. Yes, by all means companies shouldn’t use data without giving people an informed choice, but companies also shouldn’t do stuff in the first place that people wouldn’t expect. If Siri or Alexa stay a little dumb because they can’t harness people’s voice clips and home video to train them, so be it. A version of this column originally appeared in Bloomberg’s Fully Charged technology newsletter. You can sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at sovide@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Inuvo and Cango
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Inuvo and Cango

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Uber, Lyft, Facebook, Inuvo and Cango

  • The Case for Higher Taxes at the Very Top
    Bloomberg

    The Case for Higher Taxes at the Very Top

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The New York Times recently released a dramatic infographic showing how much less progressive U.S. tax system have become since 1950. When the animation starts, most taxpayers are paying about 20% of their income in taxes, but the top 1% is paying almost 30%, while the country’s 400 highest earners are paying 70%. During the next 68 years, most brackets see their tax rate rise, while the richest 400 see their rate fall relentlessly. When the animation finishes, the top 400 individuals are paying just over 20% – lower than any other bracket.These numbers are astounding, and they suggest that higher tax rates on the country’s wealthiest individuals are in order. But first, it’s important to understand what it does and doesn’t show.First of all, the graph zooms in on the top brackets – it shows the tax rate at the 90th income percentile, then the 99th, then the 99.99th, and finally the top 400 people. If it had stopped at the 99th percentile, it would have shown roughly constant top tax rates over time; what looks like a dramatic fall in tax progressivity comes entirely from the tiny sliver of earners at the very top of the income scale.Second, the graph doesn’t include transfers – the money that the government pays out. Overall, these have risen. This, along with rising taxes for the upper-middle class, is the main reason why the U.S. fiscal system as a whole has become steadily more progressive since 1950. Most of the country simply isn’t affected very much by what the government does to the 400 highest earners.A final caveat is that the tax rate of top earners is very hard to measure because they earn their income in non-standard ways, and they try very hard to hide it from the tax collectors.But despite all these caveats, it’s clear that tax rates for the richest handful of Americans have gone down a lot since the mid-20th century. And the country is starting to feel increasingly uncomfortable about that fact. The share of Americans who believe that high earners pay too little in taxes has come down a bit over the years, but it’s still a substantial majority:Meanwhile, a number of the country’s wealthiest people, including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have called for their own taxes to be raised. Presidential candidate and billionaire Tom Steyer has echoed the call. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has gone even farther, declaring that “no one deserves” the amount of wealth that he and other billionaires have accumulated.So how can top earners be taxed? The first order of business is to raise the capital-gains tax rate. Despite news headlines about overpaid chief executives, the very top earners make most of their income from the financial assets they own. Taxing capital gains is unlikely to hurt business investment, given that the country is awash in savings earning increasingly low returns. Economic research has shown that cuts in dividend tax rates (which work similarly to capital-gains taxes) haven’t boosted growth or investment, so it stands to reason that raising rates wouldn’t hurt.A second step is to repeal President Donald Trump’s new deduction for pass-through business income. This  lets many top earners pay lower taxes by passing their income through an S corporation or other closely held company; it's an important reason tax rates on the wealthiest are falling.A third step is to create more tax brackets. The reason that top income tax rates were so high in the mid-20th century is because there were special brackets for very high earners. In 1920 there were more than 50 federal income-tax brackets, with the rate on income of over $1 million – about $12.8 million in today’s dollars – set at 73%. As of 2019 there are only seven brackets, with the top bracket set at just $500,000. Adding more brackets at the top of the income scale would allow steeper rates to be targeted at very high earners.Taxing the highest earners has a number of benefits. It will raise some government revenue (though perhaps less than most ardent proponents expect). Higher income taxes may prompt wealthy people to shelter their money within corporations as they did in the 1950s, which could raise the declining rate of business investment.And finally, taxing the rich more will increase social cohesion. Obligating the top earners to pay more creates a sense that American society isn’t just every man for himself, but that the most successful are required to give something back to the country that gave the opportunity to succeed. Buffett, Gates, Zuckerberg, Steyer and other extremely wealthy individuals seem to share the general yearning for a society that isn’t so divided into winners and everybody else.(Corrects to indicate that taxes paid by the 400 wealthiest Americans are all taxes, not just federal taxes.)To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Can Facebook's Dive Into Mind-Reading Tech Boost Its Stock?
    Zacks

    Can Facebook's Dive Into Mind-Reading Tech Boost Its Stock?

    Facebook's continuous effort to develop futuristic technology paints a promising picture for its stock.

  • Bloomberg

    German Attack Offers Lessons on Guns and Neo-Nazis

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- An anti-Semitic shooting on Yom Kippur in Germany – worse news is difficult to imagine. But Wednesday’s horrible events in the eastern German city of Halle would have been bloodier had they taken place in a country with weaker gun laws and a less security-aware Jewish community.There’s also another lesson in what happened. For all the talk of “imported anti-Semitism” that comes with an increase in Muslim immigration, Jews and Muslims are in the same boat when it comes to the deadliest kind of xenophobic violence – the traditional, neo-Nazi kind.The 27-year-old attacker took care to document his motives, planning and the attack itself. In files he posted online before he drove to the Halle synagogue on Wednesday, he called himself a neo-Nazi and explained that he wanted to “kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred.” He mentioned that he’d also thought of attacking a mosque or an antifascist cultural center, because they were less protected than synagogues. (In Germany, all Jewish establishments including houses of worship are watched over by the police.) But then he changed his mind, he said, because the influx of immigrants into Europe made for too big a target.He described how he made his own arms, the goal being to show that improvised guns can work. The only factory-made weapon he managed to obtain was an ancient Smith carbine for use as a last resort. He actually expected to fail unless the synagogue’s thick doors were open or would succumb to a makeshift hand grenade.In the event, the doors held, saving the 80 people inside, who barricaded themselves in after they heard shots. The attacker killed a woman outside the house of worship, all while streaming his actions to the gamer website Twitch, which has since taken down the video. He then drove to a nearby Turkish restaurant and shot a man dead before his weapon jammed. As mass shootings go, the Halle attack was a relative failure, in part thanks to the use of homemade weapons. It’s hard for a lone terrorist of limited means to get his hands on any other kind of guns in Germany. Automatic rifles are pretty much out of reach for anyone without serious organized crime connections. Hunting weapons and handguns are somewhat easier to obtain despite strict laws regulating access to them, but they are of no use to an aspiring mass murderer.There’s much hand-wringing about the security measures and police posts at German synagogues. But the stark reality is that Jews are targets for neo-Nazi violence in any corner of the world. The Halle shooter wrote and spoke in English, addressing an international audience. The high security awareness of Germany’s Jewish communities and the help they get from the police are entirely justified. They stop people from being killed. Elsewhere, similar measures should be in place to thwart attacks like last year’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, in which 11 people died.The German police keep detailed statistics on hate crime and anti-Semitic crime in particular. Last year, they recorded 1,799 anti-Semitic offenses, a 20% increase from 2017. Of these, 89% were committed by people with extreme-right motives and views. That’s the reality of modern Germany, though attacks by Muslim immigrants attract more media attention. The threat to Jews comes overwhelmingly not from the Muslims, but from extreme nationalists and racists who hate all non-Whites and non-Christians – people like the Halle shooter. Of the 910 anti-Muslim crimes committed in 2018, right-wing radicals were responsible for 92%.Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann on Thursday blamed “spiritual arsonists” from the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party for the spread of anti-Semitism, even though the AfD is mostly an anti-immigrant party. He even singled out AfD politician Bjoern Hoecke, considered the leader of the party’s hardline wing.Herrmann has a point. In the area around Halle, Saalekreis, part of the state of Saxony Anhalt, the AfD came first in this year’s European Parliament election, winning 24% of the vote. It’s probably note a coincidence that the shooter came from a part of the country that votes this way. Hoecke on Wednesday professed “disgust, sadness and anger” at the shooting. But in his Facebook post, he only mentioned the synagogue attack, not the shooting at the kebab restaurant. That may be a calculated recognition of a sad reality in Germany today, that while a politician can’t get away with open anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim utterances aren’t judged as harshly.The potential victims of neo-Nazi violence – Jews, Muslims, everyone with a different skin color –  should feel more solidarity with each other. The danger is shared.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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