Global Bank Tax Proposal Gains New Supporter

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz. Photo by: Andrew Newton / CC BY-SA Andrew NewtonCC BY-SA

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is the latest supporter of a campaign that seeks to impose a financial transaction tax that will be used to supplement bilateral foreign aid and pay for environment-related programs.

The Columbia University professor, who received the Nobel for economics in 2001, noted that taxing financial transactions could raise a considerable amount of money because banks will have little incentive to dodge the small fees they are charged, the Globe and Mail reports.

Stiglitz explained that the tax will be fairly easy to collect because most transactions flow through clearing houses and computer systems. He argued that the banking industry’s position that the tax would negatively impact growth is “self-serving,” the Globe and Mail adds.

The newspaper notes that discussions regarding the transaction tax, which international organization Oxfam is pushing for through the “Robin Hood Tax,” campaign were beaten down by Canadian Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty during the G-20 summit in Toronto earlier this year.

“Mr. Flaherty may well win the second round, too. But make no mistake: the fight is coming to him. Among the supporters of a financial transactions tax is France, who takes over the presidency of the G-20 after next month’s summit in Seoul,” the Globe and Mail says.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.