Originally Posted by JDuff
I personally think that, from a moral standpoint, it is essential that the perpetrators of the financial crises repay governments and thereby citizens for the massive costs they have effectively forced upon us. Therefore, as well as a tobin tax, there should be other measures like separating deposit banking from the gambling which predominately caused the problems in the first place.
But as people above have highlighted, there are real practical concerns about such policies. For example, what the extra money will be used for, what will happen if it is applied only in isolated areas, etc.
As a consequence, I think it needs to be levied globally. Secondly, whilst particular governments may be wasteful spenders, they do spend (supposedly) for the benefit of citizens. The super rich and the banks do not, and more money for them will only go in bonuses to the very people who have caused these massive problems. Or it will go to shareholders who are supporting and endorsing the ponzi-schemes that these people operate.
I think most of the banks have paid back their bailouts or the governments are sitting on the equity they bought for now. I know if I bought however many billions of bank shares back in 2008 at the absolute bottom I'd still be holding.
The crisis we're heading into now is being caused by irresponsible government spending. Merkel and Sarkozy are pushing this tax as a means to get funds to prop up the EURO so they can continue to bail out the governments of Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland.
Greece has a retirement age of 55, something like over 50% of the work force are employed by the state, there are more Porshes registered in Greece than there are taxpayers who earn over 50,000 euros a year. And Italy.... you've probably seen the headlines about what Berlusconi gets up to.
Europe is a big mess because you've got highly efficient and competitve economies (Germany) lumped in with extremely inefficient, corrupt and uncompetitve economies (PIIGS) all under the same currency. Now the problems are starting to surface and they need big help to stop it all going down the pan.
I do agree that customer deposits need to be separated from proprietary speculating though. I think this might already be happening in some places.