Oblates Join Call for a Financial Speculation Levy
June 17th, 2011
The Oblates have joined calls for a levy on financial speculation, specifically on trades of stocks, options and swaps. A modest levy of 0.25 percent could provide a permanent, reliable revenue stream of approximately $100 billion a year.
The small financial transaction levy proposed would exempt the middle class and those who hold securities for longer-term investment. It would discourage dangerous financial gambling and high volume, rapid speculative trading that ratchets up prices on precious commodities while inflating the bonuses of those on Wall Street.
The IMF has confirmed the feasibility of such taxes. In fact, the United States had a transfer tax from 1914 to 1966, which levied a 0.20 percent tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help financial recovery and job creation during the Great Depression.
Critics charge that if the United States reapplies this tax domestically, it would push trading overseas. This claim is demonstrably false as the United Kingdom currently levies a similar tax and has the highest volume exchange in Europe.