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European finance ministers ("finance minister" is equivalent to our Treasury Secretary) voted on January 22 to move forward with a plan to tax trades of stock, bonds, and other financial instruments. As a result a financial transactions tax will likely become law in eleven countries--including Germany, France, Spain, and Italy. Noticeably absent from the list is the United Kingdom, home of Europe's largest financial market. Back in the USA some Democrats want to impose the same tax here. Of course, the tax has gut appeal to anybody that resents Wall Street's rolling in riches just a few years after bringing the world's economy to its knees.
A far, far better way to tax banks and reduce risk is the so called Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee proposed by the Obama Administration (p. 101) in every one of its budgets. In a nutshell, the proposal imposes a 0.15 percent tax on debt and debt-like liabilities of large banks operating in the United States.
View Marty Sullivan's opinion in its entirety on the taxanalysts® Blog.
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