News item, The Guardian, November 3, 2011:
Bill Gates will tell the G20 group of developed and developing countries on Thursday that they could raise an extra $48bn (£30bn) a year to fight global poverty by levying a small tax on share and bond trading.
Despite hostility from Britain and the US,[Canada, too] the Microsoft founder will add weight to the growing campaign for a so-called Robin Hood tax when he tells the two-day summit in Cannes that a levy on finance would help hard-pressed rich nations to meet their aid pledges to the poor.
Gates will acknowledge the lack of G20 unanimity for a financial transaction tax when he presents a report – Innovation with Impact – …the study concludes that aid budgets would be boosted by $9bn even were the FTT limited to the larger European economies, such as Germany and France, which back the idea…
CKNW’s Bill Good, always anxious to bring you the entire story, or at least the part that fits Corus’ neo-liberal view, had quasi-expert Michael Levy on to discuss this and other money matters. (By the way, David Baines of the Vancouver Sun reported on some of Levy’s past advice. Be warned.)
Levy had this to say:
…a tax on transactions, currency transactions, financial transactions, transactions that happen within the investment industry but also on currency trades – I mean just across the board, this 1% tax…It would be a very onerous tax and it’s only going to cost everybody. When I say everybody Bill, if you’ve got a pension plan, if you’ve got investments in the market and there’s a 1% tax put on transactions, it comes back and comes out of your pocketbook too.
I find it interesting that Bill Good and CKNW’s Michael Levy and Michael Campbell favour HST, repeatedly singing praises for its efficiency and efficacy. However, the point of view is different when it comes to FTT. It is perfectly ok for you to pay 12% HST on copper pipe needed to repair your sink but highly inappropriate for traders to pay 1% FTT [Financial Transaction Tax] on copper futures when they speculate on metal prices.
Also, it’s good business for fund managers and investment advisers to take a piece of every trade in the form of fees and commissions but bad business for government to take a part as well. The fact is that global commodity speculation needs to be restrained. Again, from the Guardian:
The activity of financial speculators is overwhelming agricultural commodities markets, fuelling global food price inflation and hunger, according to new analysis from the anti-poverty group the World Development Movement (WDM).
We are left to wonder if CKNW aims to provide principled advice along with complete and unbiased news or does it intend to promote the Shaw Family’s self-interest.