Election Day: Will voters raise taxes on the rich?
Recapping the day's news and newsmakers through the lens of CNBC.
It's Election Day, and elections will be a bellwether of sorts on one of the go-to strategies for boosting government revenues: raising taxes on the rich. In New York City, lead candidate Bill de Blasio wants to hike taxes on the wealthy. In Colorado, voters will decide whether to raise taxes on those with incomes above $75,000 to 5.9 percent, from 4.63 percent, to boost education funding. And there are calls to raise federal taxes on the wealthy, with some focusing on growing wealth from passive investments like stocks due to a decades-long credit boom. Some propose eliminating the favored rate on long-term capital gains.
"You did not, as President Obama averred, 'build that,' you did not create that wave. You rode it. And now it's time to kick out and share some of your good fortune by paying higher taxes or reforming them to favor economic growth and labor, as opposed to corporate profits and individual gazillions."—Bill Gross, billionaire and co-founder of Pimco
"Whatever you think of his argument, Gross has clearly outlined the two numbers that will no doubt remain at the center of the tax-the-wealthy debate—whether it's in Washington, or Colorado or New York. Those opposing higher taxes point to the amount of taxes paid by the wealthy. Those supporting higher taxes point to their incomes and share of wealth."—CNBC's Robert Frank
Is BlackBerry finally done?
BlackBerry is in trouble (again) after it said it was dumping CEO Thorsten Heins and bailing out of a buyout by Fairfax Financial. Other top executives were ousted as well, as the smartphone maker struggles with its failed reinvention. Instead of being bought by Fairfax, an insurance company, BlackBerry said it will get a $1 billion infusion from Fairfax and other investors in a deal to be completed in two weeks. Though BlackBerry spun the move as better than the original buyout deal, the 52-week low share price the stock has returned to suggests the market sees it otherwise.
"This feels a lot like a desperation [move]."—CNBC's Jim Cramer
Pros eager for Twitter, retail investors chilly
If you're on good terms with your broker and want in on the Twitter IPO, better move fast and cross your fingers: eager investors are staking claims so fast that the micro-blogging firm will close its books on the IPO a day early, at noon Tuesday. And it looks like Wall Streeters will get most of the new shares, not retail investors. Pricing will take place Wednesday, and trading will start on Thursday. Twitter boosted the IPO price range to $23 to $25, up from $17 to $20. But an AP/CNBC poll shows retail investors are skeptical about Twitter's value.
"The problem for retail investors. ... is valuation. At its new range of 23 to 25 bucks a share, Twitter would be valued at ... [a pricy] 14 times 2014 sales."—CNBC's Kayla Tausche
Crime and punishment
In the biggest insider-trading settlement ever, the hedge fund SAC Capital has agreed to pay $1.8 billion and to plead guilty to all four counts in its federal indictment from July. The firm, founded by Steve Cohen, will also terminate its investment advisory business, meaning it will not be allowed to manage other people's money. Though SAC was not required to shut down, it still could. Or it could live on as a family office managing Cohen's fortune. The government could still bring an individual insider trading case against Cohen himself.
"It's a landmark decision for the government, a huge fine for the industry. And, oddly enough, it seems [SAC] will live to fight, at least a few more days, or another year or two. We'll see."—CNBC's Kate Kelly
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations it used kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies to promote powerful psychiatric drugs for unapproved uses in children, seniors and disabled patients. The government says the drug maker ignored repeated FDA warnings to curb the improper use of several drugs.
"Through these alleged actions, [J&J and its subsidiaries] lined their pockets at the expense of American taxpayers, patients and the private insurance industry.... [The practices "put at risk the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society."—Attorney General Eric Holder
—By Jeff Brown, special to CNBC.com