Stabbed in the bank
Posted by Ian at 9 48 PM on Saturday, November 7
GORDON Brown’s plans for a global tax on banks was in tatters last night after Barack Obama’s team rejected them.
Mr Brown wanted banks around the world to be taxed every time they do a deal — with the money insuring them against another crash.
But President Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner dismissed it as an “old idea” and said: “A day-by-day financial transaction tax is not something we are prepared to support.”
Speaking at St Andrews in Scotland as world finance ministers gathered for a G20 summit, US officials warned such a tax could slow economic recovery.
It was a major blow for Mr Brown just hours after he travelled there specially to lay out the next stage of his plans to reform the world economy.
He is desperate to introduce more rescue packages because the UK is one of the only major economic powers that has not emerged from the slump.
Other countries such as the US are less keen because their economies have returned to growth.
At the start of the summit, the PM (below) said he wanted “a global financial transactions levy”.
He added: “It cannot be acceptable that the benefits of success in this sector are reaped by the few but the costs of its failure are borne by all of us.”
But the British Bankers’ Association and the Institute of Directors also said a global banking tax would be unworkable.
And Chancellor Alistair Darling had to admit the plan was “a work in progress”.
However, a senior policy adviser for Oxfam, Max Lawson, said it would be “a major step towards clearing up the mess caused by their greed”.