Financial market volatility

Financial transactions taxes: FTT?

If you put “FTT” into a search engine, the top results are for “Failure to Thrive.”  Proponents of a financial transactions tax should find this disturbing. We find it amusing, but apt.

The idea of taxing the purchase and sale of certain securities has been around for a long time. The British first imposed a stamp duty on secondary market purchases of equity in 1694 – a tax that remains in force today. In 1936, Keynes proposed the imposition of a wider tax with an eye toward reducing volatility. In 1972, following the collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange-rate system, Nobelist James Tobin famously recommended a tax on currency trading as a kind of capital control that would provide central banks greater discretion in controlling their interest rates and exchange rates. As of 1991, Campbell and Froot list 20 jurisdictions with some form of securities transactions tax. With the move by 11 European Union countries to impose one as of January 1, 2016, the number of countries with an FTT will soon exceed 40...

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