A modestly higher financial transaction tax, or FTT, could discourage speculation, lead to less price volatility, and encourage long-term investment. One estimate projects such a 'sales tax' on Wall Street may raise $175 billion a year, even if it cut the total number of transactions in half.
The Dow rose 102 points to close at 11518 after hitting its lowest point of the year last week
Slovakia's vote against expanding the European bailout fund presents an unwelcome obstacle to solving Europe's debt crisis. It also caused the fall of the tiny country's government.
As the global economy founders, refinancing Europe's banks to deal with the debt crisis might be preferable to bailing out countries, experts say – and politicians are starting to agree.
European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet offered European banks emergency short-term loans. Speculation is rising over a plan by EU leaders to recapitalize banks.
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, met with EU chief Jose Manuel Barrosso on Wednesday. Angela Merkel said her government is ready to help German banks, if necessary.
A better-than-expected US jobs report helped abate selling pressures on Wall Street. But Europe's debt problems are pressuring EU officials to act.
European credibility seems to be the issue. Investors are increasingly edgy over whether EU policymakers can agree on how to ease the debt crisis.
Investors in Europe have set their sights on Italy, speculating that if a Greek bailout isn't approved and Athens defaults on its government debt, Italy is next.
With high debt and falling stocks, Italy appears to be the next European economy on the brink. Investors and European officials are now sounding alarm bells.