An experiment on Financial Transaction Taxes

This should be good. Ten European countries want to press ahead with a financial transactions tax (FTT) and intend to do so despite the other EU countries refusing to come along:

"I am delighted to see that 10 member states have indicated their willingness to participate in a common financial transaction tax (FTT)," said Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Not as delighted as the city of London, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and similar entities in neighbouring non-FTT countries, I'll bet.
"This tax can [my italics] raise billions of euros of much-needed revenue for member states in these difficult times.
"This is about fairness - we need to ensure the costs of the crisis are shared by the financial sector instead of shouldered by ordinary citizens."
I will be fascinated to see how much tax is actually raised by this measure in France and Germany, who are the two most financially active nations in the group. It will also be interesting to see what the impact is on corporate tax takes - I would bet they'll drop significantly. And as for banking activity in those countries, I suspect this will finish the job in France that Hollande started with his tax hikes.

This is good, though. This is how democracy and nation states are supposed to work. Nations that want to press ahead with a demented idea can do so, those who don't want to be involved don't have to be, and when it all goes pear-shaped the voters can throw the relevant bunch of baboons out of office. I note that Greece, Portugal and Spain have all signed up, presumably on the basis that however this idea turns out it can't possibly make their situations any worse.

I give the idea 1-2 years of operation before it becomes manifestly clear that no extra net revenue is coming in, and indeed any financial activity that isn't nailed down has gone elsewhere.

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