Stability tax on financiers (Well done Gordon Brown.)

Gordon Brown:

“It can not be acceptable that the benefits of success in this sector are reaped by the few but the costs of its failure are borne by all of us.

there must be a better economic and social contract between financial institutions and the public based on trust and a just distribution of risks and rewards”.

Anyway Gordon (finally, because he has long resisted such a tax) is another few steps towards redeeming himself after the 10p income tax band debacle. If you read the Nick Cohen piece below, you will find something else to blame him for, but for now I’m inclined to give him credit where credit is belatedly due.

The accelerators in the financial sector (whose champions seem to be US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund) may insist that financial policy must be expansionary until growth is with us. But here, in a nutshell is why global governments should adopt Gordon Brown’s progressive taxation of bank transaction profits (not, as far as I can see, a true Tobin tax, because it should encompass all buying and selling of currency and stakes, not just transnational ones). Stability, revenue and anti-poverty. More from Will Hutton.

So of course, somebody in my position of ignorance goes running to Stiglitz for commentary. Hmm, not much. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, bloke who wrote Black Swan? Nada.

(Ugh! These financial commentators have turdish websites. How can you know all they know and not realise that you have to syndicate? What else don’t they know?)

The Tax Justice Network has a little more – run out of time now.

An IMF study will report on feasibility of this stability tax next April. Good luck to Gordon – he will probably need it.

Bonus: Nick Cohen points out our collective failure to rail at financiers the way we rail at politicians.

Aside: the mum next door has been roaring at her two boys about homework for the past five minutes and the boys are keening.


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