“Momentum building” on Tobin tax

Oxfam’s Head of Research Duncan Green sets out today on his blog how “momentum is building” for a Tobin tax, particularly in the United States.

He writes:

“In the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed qualified support on the [Financial transaction tax] on the 7th December, while various heavyweight economists have come out in favour, including Paul Krugman in the New York Times.

A democratic congressman, Peter Di Fazio has introduced a bill in Congress calling for a tax on financial transactions, to help pay for job creation in the US. This is supported by 25 other congressmen … In response Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner moderated his initial opposition to an FTT, saying merely that ‘he has not seen a version of this tax that would work for the US’.”

Coordinated global action would allay the fears of leading opponents. James Barty, head of strategy at a London-based hedge fund, writing today in the Financial Times says:

there is concern that the government is more focused on punishing the City than truly reforming the system … the prime minister is proposing a version of the Tobin tax. It does not make London appear welcoming.

Aside from the United States, the remaining opposition appeared to be coming from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But the Wall Street Journal blog outlined last month how the IMF’s views were changing:

the IMF’s deputy managing director, John Lipsky, gave the IMF’s fullest account of what the Fund is up to. While specific proposals aren’t expected until the spring, he was open to the idea of a so-called Tobin tax — a small tax on foreign exchange transactions.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn initially dismissed the idea of a Tobin tax, but after the U.K. and others countries objected, the IMF has made clear it will examine the idea.

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9 Responses to ““Momentum building” on Tobin tax”

  1. Billy Blofeld

    The Tobin Tax is idiotic. Book me a flight to the island or country that doesn’t sign up to a Tobin Tax – and let me count my cash rolling into the tax haven.

    A policy for the few and not the many if ever there was one.

    Surely only someone who could walk into a broom cupboard thinking it was a conference room for world leaders could support something so stupid.

  2. Roger

    Gordon is functionally blind and on this one occasion didn’t have his omnipresent minder whispering in his ear which way to go.

    Have you got any other clips of disabled people suffering momentary embarassments you’d like us to giggle at?

  3. Swagata

    “a tax on financial transactions, to help pay for job creation in the US”
    I can’t see the tax working because everyone wants the revenue for themselves. If it was levied in Britain, would it get used to repair the chronic public finances or for an overseas cause?

    Each supporter just wants the money for their favourite campaign, there’s no single rallying point to direct the revenues.

    It’s a decent idea but I suspect it’s just being used as a politically expedient tool. After all the idea was discussed in European circles several times in recent years but it kept getting vetoed by the British government.

  4. Co-operative Party

    RT @leftfootfwd: “Momentum building” on Tobin tax: http://is.gd/5r4Xc

  5. csstone

    “Momentum building” on Tobin tax | Left Foot Forward http://bit.ly/55gm1q

  6. Billy Blofeld

    Roger – you ain’t going to like the Laurel and Hardy remix then…

    Wasn’t Gore supposed to be whispering to Gordon which way to go?

  7. Mike Naylor

    Roger, to quotr mr Brown

    Every year, of course, I have to check – as I did only a few days ago – that my eyesight is good. There has been absolutely no deterioration.’”

  8. Old Holborn

    I’ve got a video of me turfing a ginger midget out of her chair at Millbank last November 5th. Does that count?

  9. Richard Blogger

    Billy, don’t you have anything original to add? Or are you just a sock-puppet for Guido?

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