A tax to help the poor
These calls are timely and appropriate. Just months after the near total collapse of the financial system, the speculators are back with a vengeance. Worse still, taxpayers around the world have to carry the cost of the past excesses of the financial innovators. Even set at a modest rate, an FTT would throw sand in the cogs of market traders, who often speculate on tiny movements. It is also an easy tax to collect and not so easy to avoid. In other words, a good tax. And if the proceeds could be disbursed via controlled and audited processes to assist with poverty alleviation, as Kouchner suggest, then we might at last be able to see the elusive silver lining to the dark cloud hanging over the world's poorest people.