The French president Nicholas Sarkosy has announced that he will introduce a 'Tobin' tax, also known as a Robin Hood tax, in August this year: all financial transactions in France will incur a 0.1% levy.
He's hoping that the other Eurozone countries will join him and bring in the same tax. He must be hoping quite fervently because if they don't he's going to look pretty stupid. He's putting a million euro overhead on the cost of transacting a billion euro deal. That may not sound like a lot, but it's enough to pay a bank chairman his annual bonus. Business could flee France if the other countries don't fall into line.
Just to be on the safe side Sarky has made sure this new tax won't cut in until after the French presidential elections in April. Sarky is up for re-election, although he hasn't 'announced' yet, and he isn't doing very well in the polls at the moment. Latest survey results are:
François Hollande, Socialist, 31%
Nicholas Sarkosy, Rightwinger, 25%
Marine Le Pen, Nationalist, 17%
The remaining 27% is shared between about 10 no-hopers.
So he's not slapping on the tax right now; he's waiting until he's safely re-ensconced in the Elysee Palace (for his last 5-year term) and as things stand it's looking like he won't make it. But since the threat is emerging from the left, sadly Mme. Le Pen not getting traction at the moment, it's time for a bit of banker-bashing.
And this blog has to agree. It's always time for some banker-bashing, and that goes double if they're foreign bankers.