Robin Hood

I'm a fan of Bill Nighy, doubly so after viewing this video on the Robin Hood Tax, also known as the Financial Transaction Tax or FTT. Watch the video now, if you haven't already: it's informative, amusing, and short. And brilliantly acted.

The standard argument against the tax is that any country implementing it unilaterally would drive business away. But the UK already imposes a Stamp Tax of 0.5% (as compared to the 0.05% of the FTT) on share trades, and this doesn't appear to have done the London Stock Exchange irreparable harm. Further, the tax can be arranged to apply to any transaction carried out by a UK business, regardless of where the transaction itself occurs; few companies would abandon the country just to save 0.05% on currency and derivative trades. Some other counterarguments appear here.

Nice! The "counterarguments" are the usual reactionary stuff based, as usual, on a manufactured fear. Milton Friedman and Edward Bernays would be pleased.

--A fan of your wonderful work.
Hello! As I regard you a deep thinker I would like to comment on this tax. I am all for taxing the banks in the fair way as any sector should be taxed in a democratic country. But, this tax is not well thought out. In fact it is utter stupidity. Why?

Firstly, the existing FTT is fully avoided by financial engineering as easy as driving a roundabout instead of a stop light crossing. This particular British law is laughable and banks just make more money on rounding it. This is why it has no effect on private profits, stockmarket etc. It even helps banks charge for new services.

Secondly, the tax on transactions is like taxing steps in a math proof, so the proof can never be made. Financial industry is operating by doing many transactions in atomic groups yielding a net effect desired by participants. This is made possible by the cost efficiency of transactions made lately by IT industry. Taxing it will kill many honest operations with desirable effects and/or move the operations to other countries as money knows no borders. Taxing should ultimately be made on the wealth created! Tax the banks net profits, and tax the employees wages!

Also, banks should not be saved as they have been in places. Instead they should have been taken over by the state or federal banks for later controlled shutdown.

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