Australia 21 Fellow Ross Buckley, Professor of International Finance Law at the University of New South Wales, writes that the Australian government should swing its support behind the growing international campaign for a banking levy, and then it should join the push for a financial transactions tax.
The aim of the “levy” in the form of a small tax on bank assets, profits and staff remuneration would be to set aside funds to finance future bailouts. The more important role of the transactions tax would be to cool off the flow of speculative funds swirling around the world by taxing transactions at a percentage rate that would be trivial for medium and long term investments, but onerous for computer programmed “investments” that might only last for periods measured in seconds.
Support for the levy seems to be gaining ground, the Australian Government being one of the few arguing against it. Gathering enough support for the transactions tax to be implemented will be a far tougher nut to crack.