Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rob the thieving bankers!

"Robin Hood" tax campaign launched

A global tax on banks' financial transactions should be introduced to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change, a group of nearly 50 organisations said in a letter to political leaders.

Posted by mr g @ 12:10 PM (912 views)
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23 thoughts on “Rob the thieving bankers!

  • Wouldn’t the ‘Robin Hood’ tax be accrued by the bee-ankers from er……..their customers?

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  • Another tax?! Who do these fkkrs think they are? Ah, but bless, it’s for a good cause… fkff! Aid is not a solution it’s oppression and they don’t want it – start with Dead Aid. Thieves Brown and hood, and charlatans geldof and bono – the world would be a better place without them. This government interference is out of hand.

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  • Rumble, Who’s hood?

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  • Robbing Hood, Robber in a Hood.

    “It is not kindness, compassion, or selflessness that lift people out of poverty. It is liberated human ability–combined with perseverance, courage, and the desire to achieve something worthwhile and (sometimes) to make money in the process.”
    — Nathaniel Branden, The Art of Living Consciously, 1997

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  • A spokesman is quoted saying, “You could ignore the big problems facing the world … or you can work to find an innovative, modern, regular way of accumulating a fund of money”… hmm regular yes, innovative & modern I think not, this tax was proposed in 1936 by John Maynard Keynes.

    Whilst JMK was a great thinker this was not one of his greatest moments IMO. Taxing transactions is a really good way to distort markets and encourage new black and grey markets, not what these 50 organisations (e.g. Oxfam) would like to see, I’m sure. How about taxing unproductive use of resources instead?

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  • 6s, good point, the Tobin tax has been getting mention recently – why stop at currency transactions?!

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  • For reference:
    Mr. Malkiel* on Financial Transaction Tax, Wall Street Journal Dec 2009
    * Professor of Economics, Princeton.
    (Although I don’t quite agree with his view on the necessity of international implementation, just that without it the distorting effect would be greater – but to implement it globally would be very costly for the Master of the situation indeed!)

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  • rumble – I think the suggestion is more generic than Tobin (currency transaction tax), although this idea is more Modern (1972). The attraction to the Tobin over any other transaction tax is the sheer scale of that market – Current estimates of the size of the entire FX market are around $4Tr per day, it pretty much dwarfs all other markets. A second reason is that it’s such a liquid market that a tiny tax is thought to have little discretionary effect; I think that idea is very much misguided – see the article above.

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  • 6s, “I think the suggestion is more generic than Tobin” — exactly, though haven’t yet read your link – generic would encompass currency transactions, right? So we should have expected this development, maximum cast of the net – the socialist global tax grab – a proboscis in every jugular… to save the helpless. They’re like those psychopathic “doctors” who kill off their patients.

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  • Some rather knee jerk anti-regulation comments without a lot of logic to them here. A tax on financial transactions would be a very good thing as it would curb purely speculative trades and therefore curb volatility in markets. It would make things like shorting less profitable, for example. The folks who would lose out are the financier parasites who do not contribute to the real economy, but who make money by their fetishistic following of the markets at the expense of the less-well-informed ordinary joes who fail to cash out at the right moment. And yes, the revenue could be put to good use – repairing the public finances for example.

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  • Nickb, small picture, fiddling at the fringe of a broken and increasingly global socialist system.

    “at the expense of the less-well-informed ordinary joes who fail to cash out at the right moment”
    — So you’re opposed to individual responsibility?

    “the revenue could be put to good use – repairing the public finances for example”
    — Create more government imposed taxes to fix previous government failures and taxes? More interference to fix the failed interference?

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  • rumble
    increasingly socialist system??!? what planet do you live on? All I see is deregulation, privatisation and cuts. What do you think the IMF have been up to over the years? It ain’t been creating global socialism. Increasingly the burden of tax falls on citizens it is true, but only because corporations have been left off the hook.

    I’m all in favour of personal responsibility, but more important is corporate responsibility – or lack of it, as they have more power. How can the man in the street be expected to anticipate speculative currency or share attacks that may effectively wipe out their savings?

    The financier thieves are forever ranting on about the perilous state of the public finances. Well, this is a logical response – tax unproductive financial activity and use the revenue for the common good.

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  • Rumble – yes (although the generic pre-dates the specific).

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  • Nick B
    – Sorry, I do not agree at all:
    It will discourage arbitrage, which usually acts to decrease volatility and makes spreads tighter.
    Hence it would increase volatility and therefore encourage speculation, exactly the opposite to the desired effec ( athough it will collect plenty of $$$)
    In a nut shell efficient markets are good and taxing transactions make a market less efficient.

    Please, please read the comments of the eminent Princeton economics professor which I posted above.

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  • I hear ya – i was referring to implementation sequence, you conceptualisation sequence. Off now to watch 2012… the end is nigh!

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  • heh, reminds me of an xkcd strip:

    The End Is Not For A While!

    470 from xkcd.com

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  • Well I’m sorry I take a more *empirical* view
    Efficient markets!? Er, have you noticed the “credit crunch”? Perhaps you’d like to explain how it happened if markets were so damn efficient?
    And come off it, how is taxing currency transactions going to make for more volatility? You say “arbitrage” but what would that be like in practice? You need audit trails to trade with confidence, and that implies you can be taxed. Or are you thinking of traders smuggling round suitcases of cash?

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  • Nick B said, “Perhaps you’d like to explain how it happened if markets were so damn efficient?”
    – They are not. There is too much distortion, mostly due to the existence of the state. I’m afraid you are talking to a anarcho-capitalist here 🙂
    The credit crunch may not have occurred so soon if the mortgage market in the U.S. was more strictly regulated, but it would have happened and would have been even worse as it would have been pent up for longer, however it was not a direct result of this lack of regulation – that was just the weak point at which we got the effect. The root cause was almost certainly the huge difference between creditor & debtor nations which built up over the latter quarter of last century ( since Bretton Boods, 1971) – The reason (in my opinion) is the existence of certain bodies who carry out legitimised theft with the premise of providing a public good [Governments].

    To me there are two approaches – regulate more to avoid weak points and have distorted markets, which ends up creating a larger and larger proportion of poor and eventually a revolution at which point the whole thing starts again; or abandon central control and by definition have no weak points (or strong points) [note this implies Free Banking] – yes you must have your witts about you, but that’s natures way, and it seems to work for her.

    “how is taxing currency transactions going to make for more volatility?”
    – Please read the article I posted and research for yourself. It’s simply cause and effect.

    “You say “arbitrage” but what would that be like in practice?”
    – You have the wrong end of the stick – arbitrage exists in the markets now, I’m not saying it would increase, quite the opposite ( yes black & grey markets would appear, but no, not suitcases). Currently big banks have computers near exchanges doing trades that last milliseconds and turn tiny profits on huge sums, these strategies have the effect of both decreasing volatility and narrowing bid/ask spreads. These are not speculative strategies and these tighten spreads and decrease volatility; we should not be targeting these trades.

    …and no, I’m not saying the tax is not implementable, it is easy to implement, just not a great idea; far better to tax unproductive use of resources – like LVT, Pollution taxes etc… Although my ideal world has no tax, because there is no state, rather the markets drive everything (including such things most would find hard to imagine: justice, security, defence, and even charity/welfare)
    😀

    But I may be wrong and you are entitled to your opinion.

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  • @Nick, “the perilous state of the public finances. Well, this is a logical response – tax unproductive financial activity and use the revenue for the common good.”
    — The common good? Nooo, the common good is that you are responsible for you – not me, not your mum, not the state, but you.
    The logical response? Nooo, the logical response is to stop financing and promoting the ever obviously inefficient state. Your response is expansive and complicating – increased complication = increased unintended consequences, expansion = ubiquitous incompetence.
    “socialist …What do you think the IMF have been up to” — How about, what do you think the IMF is? Who is Obama? Who are the bank owners? How will Greece be saved?
    “Increasingly the burden of tax falls on citizens it is true, but only because corporations have been left off the hook.”
    — What do you mean “only because”? That is the socialising. And who let them off the hook? Themselves?
    “How can the man in the street be expected to anticipate speculative currency or share attacks that may effectively wipe out their savings?” — Back to the old risk issue – if you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. I am the man in the street, and when I choose, all by myself, to play at the table with titans, I know where I stand, no one is forcing me into the game. My choice, my responsibility. That’s freedom.

    @6s, “yes you must have your witts about you, but that’s natures way, and it seems to work for her” – clarity. Seems people don’t want to have their wits… isn’t that what the government is for?
    “including such things most would find hard to imagine” — a leap of imagination in stuck minds raised knowing only hierarchic central authority.

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  • I have to agree with nickb here. The idea that we live in a global state, socialist or otherwise, is plainly not true – an interconnected world where trouble in one area has repercussion in another, yes. One can hardly call the deregulation of the banks that led to the current economic situation as socialist, not matter how far you wish to bend and stretch the definition of the word.

    We could all live in a world where you sink or swim as an individual (the US tends to run along these lines), but then the logical conclusion of this is to take up weapons and have at it (note the gun laws in the US). Meanwhile some here can rant on, claiming that anyone who does not see things their way is too benighted to apprehend the truth. You can see the attraction to them of the absolute.

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  • “One can hardly call the deregulation of the banks that led to the current economic situation as socialist”

    Welcome to 2010. Here’s a tip, buy Apple stock, they’ll be bringing out a device called an iPod.

    “the logical conclusion of this is to take up weapons”
    — This is not the logical conclusion. Will you guys stop claiming your thoughts are logical. Who mentioned elimination of justice?

    “Meanwhile some here can rant on, claiming that anyone who does not see things their way is too benighted to apprehend the truth. You can see the attraction to them of the absolute.”
    — Spare us the holier-than-thou speech. Make points if you have any.

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  • Extreme poverty and inequality is in effect the elimination of justice – and incidentally a major cause of crime (cf the Swedish model).

    Anyway, you are not interested in points; you seem to have a gripe against certain contributors here, mostly those who have something worthwhile to say, such as nickb. Trouble is you counter with peurile sniping and meaningless sarcasm, the refuge of the teenager. Still, there are a good number of individuals like you here, so you are not alone. I’ll debate with anyone but I won’t engage with your cliched rhetoric and clumsy insults, so this is my last exchange with you.

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  • Again, no substance in your comment. I had no gripe against any contributors – do you expect a welcoming response after dismissing someone’s opinions as “knee jerk … without a lot of logic to them”? I responded to each of Nick’s points with my own – what are you talking about – made up generic accusations? And what sort of response did you expect to your last statement?

    “I’ll debate with anyone but I won’t engage with your cliched rhetoric and clumsy insults” – read your post, and say that with a straight face.

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