PM losing Tobin tax argument

Gordon Brown

The possibility of a tax on financial transactions – or Tobin tax – looked
remote this morning after international leaders failed to support Gordon Brown’s
proposal launched at the G20 meeting over the weekend.

Opposition and doubts have been aired by many senior figures including
Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury secretary and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head
of the International Monetary Fund.

Reports in the national press this morning speculate that the opposition now
means the Brown idea is essentially dead because he himself had predicated
pushing forward the idea on international support.

However, the prime minister does appear to have received the qualified
support of billionaire fund manager George Soros, who is reported in the
Financial Times saying that some kind of transaction tax was, in principle, a
good idea.

In an article for today’s FT Gordon Brown proposes “global financial levies”
among a raft of others as a means restoring responsibility to the financial

He writes: “Banks cannot assume that trust will return without significant

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