Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tax banks for their success

From correspondents in St Andrews, Scotland From: AFP November 08, 2009 6:56AM

BRITISH Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called on the G20 to consider a tax on financial transactions to make banks more accountable to society.

Mr Brown told G20 finance ministers meeting in Scotland that "a global financial transactions levy" would be one way "to reflect the global responsibilities of financial institutions to society."

Although the British Prime Minister warned of the need to avoid "prohibitive costs" on the banking sector, he said: "I do not think these difficulties should prevent us from considering with urgency the legitimate issues."
If you understand Fractional Reserve Lending, then, you'll understand that Banks simply do not have "prohibitive" costs. Google and watch part 1 of Zeitgeist Addendum for more information.

Mr Brown stressed Britain would not act alone on the so-called Tobin Tax, saying it would also have to be implemented by all the world's major financial centres, including the US, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Switzerland.
Another potential step toward a new world order.

"Let me be clear: Britain will not move unless others move with us together," he said.

"I believe in a strong global financial sector. I believe in an open and inclusive globalisation. But I believe that the global economy and global society will only thrive if it is brought within a rational and fair framework."

The comments represent a significant strengthening of Mr Brown's position on the tax.

Previously, Britain was thought to be opposed to the idea because of fears it would damage the City of London, Europe's largest financial district, and the United States has expressed similar concerns.
For those of you who do not know, the City of London is not a part of England as such.

Debate over new versions of the Tobin Tax has accelerated since the financial crisis erupted last year, with France and Germany among nations leading calls for its introduction.

The tax was originally proposed in 1971 by Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin as a means of reducing speculation in global markets, but Mr Tobin himself later began to doubt his own idea was workable.

The idea was revived in August by Adair Turner, the chairman of Britain's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), as a way of providing a safeguard against another economic slowdown.

But his proposal was greeted with derision by many in London.

Campaigners welcomed Mr Brown's speech, with Oxfam saying it signalled that "payback time for banks could be just around the corner".

"A tax on banks would be a major step towards clearing up the mess caused by their greed," the group's senior policy advisor Max Lawson said.

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