Thursday, December 10, 2009

Brown/Sarkozy Call For Taxing Banks


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have jointly penned an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that calls for taxing excessive bank profits.

The piece follows a proposal in the UK to tax bank bonuses by 50 percent.

The two leaders assert in their essay that Europe has led the way in responding to the global financial crisis. They are attempting, they say, to start a dialogue which results in Europe setting the tone for better regulation of financial institutions worldwide.

While others are suffering, Brown and Sarkozy write that financial institutions created risks in their quest for short-term profits and "excessive rewards." This all led, the leaders say, to financial crises - and the taxpayers being called upon to bail out the banks.

"It is simply not acceptable for them to foot the bill for losses in a deep downturn," they write, "while institutions' shareholders and employees enjoy all the gains as the economy recovers."

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