G20: Gordon Brown calls for global tax on financial transactions - Telegraph: "''I believe we should discuss whether we need a better economic and social contract to reflect the global responsibilities of financial institutions to society,'' he said.
''This is a unique sector that, when it fails, imposes such a high cost to the wider economy and damage to society that government intervention becomes essential. So the taxpayer had no real choice but to step in to keep the system afloat.
"And it cannot be acceptable that the benefits of success in this sector are reaped by the few but the costs of its failure are born by all of us.""
The idea of such taxation and transfer to the poor and victims of for example earth quakes is that a very small fraction of a percent on each financial transaction could generate 100s of billions of dollars per year. People that could use such a bank account are Jeffrey D. Sachs. Critics of the tax claim that global financial flows would dry up but this is not likely given the small relative rate.
Jeffrey D. Sachs writes today in The Times about the same thing. He talks about a Robin Hood tax. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University which is dedicated to sustainability questions. The overarching goal of the Institute is to "help achieve sustainable development primarily by expanding the world's understanding of Earth as one integrated system".
There is definitely a need for cash of this nature because it is easy to see what happens when a country like Greece ends up in trouble. People start to discuss who is going to help. Earth quake victims is another source for concern. What follows is of course general questions of global governance and the realization that the world hardly is integrated politically or religiously. However, a G20 governed fund to aid countries might be a good addition to the UN system which has its limitation due to the many countries in charge. A lot of people would probably like this idea but a small country like Sweden would not be in the orbit.
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