Ten things you need to know about the EU financial transactions tax

Author: | Published: 29 Sep 2011
By Salman Shaheen

The financial transactions tax (FTT), also known as the Tobin tax and the Robin Hood Tax, has been the stuff of legend for decades, discussed eagerly by academics and socialist economists, without gaining much traction in the mainstream. The financial crisis changed all that and, as José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, comes forward with a proposal for an EU-wide FTT, everyone will be talking about it. Here are 10 things you cannot afford to miss.

1. Don’t panic. The rate, as expected, will be miniscule. The FTT Barroso is proposing would see a 0.1% tax on trading in shares and bonds and a 0.01% rate applied to derivatives transactions, although both parties will be taxed, even if one is not based in the EU.

2. One of the reasons the FTT is gaining popularity as governments struggle to balance...