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Gordon Brown to push for ‘Tobin tax’ after Wall Street crackdown

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Larry Elliott and Jill Treanor
London Guardian
Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Gordon Brown plans to exploit Barack Obama’s surprise crackdown on Wall Street banks to step up Britain’s campaign for a new global transaction tax on financial products.

The prime minister believes the dramatic US move to curb risky activities by major US banks indicates a new-found willingness on the part of Washington to contemplate radical reform of markets.

Amid signs that key opponents of a transaction tax in Obama’s administration have been sidelined, Brown intends to use a series of meetings in the coming weeks and months to build international support for a “Tobin tax”, which he floated at last autumn’s G20 meeting. Lord Myners, the City minister, is to host a crucial mini-summit on Monday at which US officials will spell out the details of the Volcker plan – through which Obama intends to stop banks running hedge funds, private equity arms and taking bets on markets with customer deposits.

Myners had called G7 members to the Downing Street talks before the White House stunned the financial world with Thursday’s announcement, seen as the biggest Wall Street shakeup since the Glass Steagall reforms of the Great Depression.

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This article was posted: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 7:41 am

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