In a new Re-Define policy brief we have addressed the all important question of the incidence of financial transaction taxes, seeking to answer the question ‘who pays in the end’, should FTTs be widely introduced. We also demonstrate how a differentiated transaction tax regime can address market behaviour issues such as churning and excessive short termism as well as help reduce systemic risk.
Ex-Lehman banker says EU should crack down on big banks
Instead of addressing fundamental issues like the role of finance, politicians seem stuck in assuaging public anger, argues Sony Kapoor, manager of the international think-tank Re-Define, in an interview with EurActiv.
Kapoor, who has testified on financial regulation at the European Parliament, says world leaders have so far shown a lack of vision in reshaping the post-crisis financial system, arguing that it will be up to the EU's competition authorities to clean up.Outside Brussels, national leaders are missing the bigger picture, says Kapoor, though some have come up with "politically palatable" proposals.
The German government recently decided to purchase stolen data revealing tax avoiders hiding money in Swiss bank accounts. This is a risky move diplomatically, but, for Germany, the gains from tackling this tax flight appear to outweigh the risks. It is also illustrative of the proliferating efforts by individual governments and the international community to clamp down on tax flight: the loss of tax revenue due to cross border tax evasion or avoidance.
However, the recent spat between Switzerland and Germany is merely the tip of the iceberg; symptomatic of what is one the most serious systemic failures of our time: the lack of intergovernmental cooperation on cross-border financial matters.
Development actors have long argued for an overarching international mechanism that would resolve sovereign debt crises in a fair, transparent, and consistent manner. Such a mechanism would assist poor countries that often suffocate under unsustainable levels of (sometimes odious) debt, lacking the political power and legal rights to negotiate with their creditors in an impartial and efficient forum. It would make handling sovereign debt problems less messy, more predictable, and the burden sharing simpler and fairer. It would also provide incentives to curtail irresponsible lending policies on behalf of creditors.
Please Click Here to see an archived webcast of the hearings which were held on the 27th of January. The written testimony will be available both here and on the European Parliament Website by the end of next week.