On February 16th, 2012 the French Parliament has adopted its version of the so-called Tobin tax; a version that, some says, is partially based on the stamp tax levied in the City. The tax, to be effective August 1st, will be levied on all transactions involving equities from a French company if the capital of that company exceeds €1 billion and regardless of the place where the transaction is carried out. Hence, the tax concerns some 100 French companies publicly traded. Its rate is fixed at 0,1%.
Because of the “Tobin Tax”, Professor James Tobin has involuntary become the spearhead of numerous anti-mondialist organizations. A tax synonymous of “compulsory charity” from “rich” (countries) (executing several billions of financial transactions) to “poor” (countries) (victims of the “law of the strongest”). The principle is a systematical taxation of all financial transactions. A simple and ethical principle? It is not that obvious… Numerous scientifical voices clearly explain why this kind of project is not applicable. First of all, such a principle implies an unanimous understanding between countries all over the world; if not, some new “Fiscal Eden” can appears. Next, who can prevent a government to increase the tax rate as high as it wants, even if this destabilizes all exchanges? James Tobin himself explains that some organizations have highjacked his name and his scientifical production to try to defend their ideals.